No healthy diet is fool-proof against cancer, but research suggests that more than any supplement or vitamin, getting certain nutrients through eating whole foods can help block tumors. In fact, diet may even play a greater role than weight management in breast cancer prevention. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that by 2020 the number of breast cancer cases will jump to an alarming figure and one in every eight women will run the risk of developing the disease in her lifetime. Here are 12 Foods to incorporate into your diet to maximize prevention.
You can get flax either as whole seed, ground or Flaxseed oil. The omega-3s, lignans and fibre found in flaxseed are found to form a protective shield against cancer cells responsible for breast cancer. You can add flaxseeds to smoothies or flaxseed oil to salad dressings too.
Get out your nut cracker! A greater emphasis on nuts to replace animal proteins reduces inflammation. Uniquely rich in selenium, fibre, and phytochemicals, brazil nuts can help fight inflammation, improve the immune system and prevent tumour growth. And you do not need many of them–a palmful can do the trick. Walnuts also contain many helpful nutrients and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help your body fight inflammation. Research also suggests that walnuts may actually slow the growth of breast cancer tumors, so this tasty nut could play a role in breast cancer management even after diagnosis.
An apple a day may keep breast cancer away — but there’s a catch. If you normally peel your apple and toss away the colorful wrapping, you’re also tossing away a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and other compounds needed for anti-cancer nutrition. Lab studies show that apple peel can actually fight the spread of cancer cells. The good news is that you don’t need exotic varieties — this research came from readily available Gala apples, so add them to your breast cancer prevention shopping list.
Rich source of cancer-fighting compound called allium, Garlic and its relatives (onion, leeks, scallions, and chives) are shown to slow tumour growth and prevent breast cancer risk among other forms of cancer such as colorectal and prostate cancers. Crush or swallow a piece of garlic every morning and that’s all it takes to live a cancer-free life!
This is highly recommended for preventing breast cancer.Pomegranates are recognized as a rich source of antioxidants. It contains polyphenol- an ellagic acid with anti-oxidant properties that prevent cancer growth. Include this delicious fruit in your diet and discover effective health benefits.
6) DARK LEAFY GREENS
From kale, collards to spinach and Swiss chard, dark-green leafy vegetables probably are considered a “one stop shop” for all the best nutrients your body needs to fend off cancerous cells, i.e. fibre, vitamin B, phytochemicals, chlorophyll and more. Cruciferous greens such as broccoli are rich in sulforophane and indoles, which are shown to regulate cell growth in multiple ways and help fight a range of cancers, including breast, bladder, lymphoma, prostate and lung cancer.
High levels of phytochemicals and antioxidants naturally occurring in berries reduce the risk factors of many ailments. Blueberries, blackberries, lingonberries, raspberries, and strawberries add color, variety, and flavor to your anti-cancer nutrition plan. They are also power-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can aid in breast cancer prevention, so make them part of your breast cancer diet. Recent research suggests that blueberries, in particular, play a role in breast cancer management by enhancing the effect of the often-prescribed drug tamoxifen in fighting breast cancer cells.
8) GREEN TEA
Consumption on a regular basis has been linked to lower incidence of breast cancer. The phyto-chemicals in green tea can well take the credit for its health benefits. One to two cups of green tea daily can help you keep cancer at bay.
Pick a pepper, any pepper! Most have some phytochemical or nutrient that will help fight cancer. Chilli and jalapeno peppers have capsaicin (an active component of chilli peppers) that fight the growth rate of cancer cells. Chili peppers are actually a very heart-healthy food with potential to protect against the No. 1 cause of death. Green peppers are rich in chlorophyll which can bind cancer-causing carcinogens found in the gut. Red peppers have both capsaicin and antioxidant carotenoids.
A spice commonly found in our country cancer-fighting compound called curcumin can inhibit many types of cancer cells, including breast, gastrointestinal, lung, and skin cancer. A pinch of turmeric fights toughest of cancer-causing cells.
11) EGGSEggs contain every vitamin known to humans (except C). Choline, an essential nutrient abundant in eggs, is associated with a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a U.S. study involving more than 3,000 women. This essential nutrient, found in the yolk, is necessary to ensure proper cell functioning. The U.S. Institute of Medicine says women should aim for 425 milligrams per day; there are 126 milligrams in a large egg. Other sources of choline include fish, poultry, pork, beef, broccoli and wheat germ.
12) MUSHROOMSMushrooms have long been celebrated as a source of powerful nutrients, having the antioxidant and amino acid profile of some of the healthiest foods, yet we largely ignore this amazing food in the produce aisle. A study published in Nutrition and Cancer in 2010 found that higher mushroom intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among women who are premenopausal. Cremini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms, among others, contain antioxidants such as L-ergothioneine that may confer cancer protection.
*Article originally appeared on Prevent Disease.