6 Foods to Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is expected in 230,000 women in 2012 in the United States. It is the second most common type of cancer among American women. Although our genes play a role in the development of disease, genes can be influenced by diet and exercise. New research has shown that there are several types of food that should be included in the diet for anyone wanting to protect themselves against breast cancer.
Preventing breast cancer begins with:
- Increase broccoli, kale and cabbage. These and other cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called Diindolylmethane, or DIM. DIM is a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol and has several effects on cancer cells, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. It blocks division of many different types of malignant cells and even causes some of these cells to die. It may also prevent malignant cells from invading healthy tissue and it may slow or prevent growth of blood vessels in tumors. DIM may also act specifically against breast cancer cells, blocking the positive effect of estrogen on some cancers and causing it to be deactivated and excreted.
- Eat Pomegranates. Pomegranates contain ellagic acid, a natural chemical that inhibits aromatase, an enzyme linked to the development of estrogen-responsive breast cancer. Pomegranate supplements can also provide a boost for the immune system.
- Add Walnuts. Walnuts should become part of your anti-cancer diet. Researchers now think that having two ounces of walnuts every day may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Drink Green Tea. The special nutrients found in green tea may decrease the risk breast cancer. Green tea is high in a unique class of nutrients known as catechins. Catechins may combat cancerous and precancerous breast cells. By drinking three cups of green tea per day, women under 50 years of age may reduce their breast cancer risk.
- Eat Oatmeal. Pre-menopausal women who eat at least 20 g of dietary fiber per day may lower the risk of breast cancer. When it comes to fiber, it’s hard to beat oatmeal. A single serving of oatmeal contains nearly 4 g of fiber. Oatmeal can be easily combined with other high fiber and cancer fighting foods such as blueberries, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
- Add Blueberries. The antioxidants in blueberries may offset breast cancer risk. Blueberries can help fight off cancer cells. It recommends that women looking to lower their breast cancer chances eat about 3 .5 ounces of blueberries per day.
Other factors that can help prevent breast cancer:
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than one drink a day. Even low levels of alcohol have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Get active. Being physically active can help you maintain a healthy weight which helps prevent breast cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity like brisk walking or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running.
- Avoid exposure to environmental pollution. Some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in vehicle exhaust and air pollution.