Your diet can help prevent breast cancer, which kills 12,000 UK women each year – here’s help
More than 50,000 British women are being diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The disease stems from DNA in cells that make up an organ such as a breast. When the DNA mutates and begins to grow out of control it will ultimately result in cancer. Diet is an important way to help slow down or prevent cancer, by adopting a diet rich in nutrition it will not only offer significant health benefits it will act as a vital part of celular process in the body.
Here are nine foods that are proven to reduce your breast cancer risk.
Cruciferous vegetables contain a group of substances known as ‘glucosinolates’ which are sulfur-containing chemicals which cause the bitter flavour and strong scent cruciferous vegetables own. Cauliflower, garlic, onions and cabbage are all great choices of cruciferous vegetables. Studies in animals and experiments have shown that these chemicals may help prevent cells from DNA damage and induce cell death which could reduce the risk of cancer.
Dark green leafy vegetables
Studies have suggested that lutein and zeaxanthin found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale could help reduce ricks of breast cancer. A meta-analysis was carried out to review the relationship between breast cancer and vegetable consumption.
3. Beans and pulses
The Nurses Health Study found that the intake of beans and pulses such as lentils and chickpeas was associated with reduced breast cancer risk. Beans and pulses will offer an excellent source of vegetable protein into your diet, which is especially benefical if avoiding or cutting down on meats. Beans and pulses also provide nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins.
Tomatoes are an excellent choice of fruit for breast cancer, they are exceptionally beneficial due to their high antioxidant level. Breast cancer expert, Tara Whyand, an oncology dietitan and a Profbiotics nutrition adviser, explains that consuming fruit such as tomatoes rich in lycopene can help reduce your risk – watermelon and papaya also contain high levels.
5. Fruit and veg
Vegetables and fruits may have a preventative effect against breast cancer, as they are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamins C,E and folate; they are also an important source of dietary fibre. Try to include a minimum of five portions (400g) a day.
6. Omega 3 rich oily fish
In studies carried out from Zhejiang University and the APCNS Center of Nutrition researchers looked at the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon and tuna. The analysis concluded that out of a total of over 800,000 women, just over 20,000 actually developed breast cancer during the follow up. It was shown that the women who had the highest intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish had a 14 per cent reduction in breast cancer compared with the women who had eaten the least amount of fish.
7. Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice for cooking and adding to salads. It is filled with antioxidants and phytonutrients. The antioxidants reduce oxidisation in the body which can cause free radicals known to cause cancer. A study carried out by the University of Navarra in Pamplona, on women that eat a Mediterranean diet showed that those who added extra virgin olive oil into their meals had a 62 percent lower risk of breast cancer over the next five years or so, compared to those with small or no extra virgin olive oil in their diet.
Flaxseeds are an excellent food to incorporate into the diet to help prevent risks against breast cancer. Flaxseeds contains lignans which are the main type of phytoestrogens in the Western diet. In 2009 researchers looked into studies of women, post-menopause, whose levels of lignans in they diest were high, and found they had reduced breast cancer risk.
9. Soy products
Naturally-derived soy-rich foods such as edamame beans, tofu, miso and soya milk are another food which is rich in phytoestrogens. The national cancer institute of the USA found that women with a diet high in soya had less dense breast tissue than women that avoided or had a diet low in soya. Breast tissue that is of a higher density has been linked to have a higher risk of gaining breast cancer. One of the active ingredients in soya is isoflavone, which is a chemical very similar to oestrogen which reduces the effect of oestrogen in the body. It has been shown tat high levels of oestrogen can increase breast cancer risk.