October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, dedicated to recognizing those impacted, as well as providing support for family, friends and research efforts. According to the American Cancer Society, odds are that 1 in 8 women will have invasive breast cancer in her life. A healthy lifestyle that incorporates certain foods may help fight breast cancer.
Top 5 Foods to Optimize Breast Health & Help Fight Cancer
1. Broccoli: According to research, consuming cruciferous vegetables can help provide the body with cancer-fighting elements like vitamin C, phytochemicals and calcium. Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli ranks highest in vitamin C content, an antioxidant that may assist with stimulating anti-cancer cells, stopping tumors from spreading and helping the body repair after cancer surgery.
It’s been suggested that individuals with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood have a reduced risk of developing cancer than those with lower levels. Adding broccoli need not be a hassle or consumed in extremely large quantities to obtain benefits. In fact, recent studies show that as little as a 1/2 cup daily may contribute to a lowered cancer risk (breast, in addition to others including ovarian, prostate and colon).
2. Cherry Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene (responsible for their vibrant red color), a powerful antioxidant with the ability to help repair cells that are more susceptible to cancer. Cherry tomatoes, because of their higher tomato skin-to-tomato-flesh ratio over other tomatoes, give them higher antioxidant content. Additionally, several studies of early-stage breast cancer survivors discovered a correlation between higher levels of carotenoids in the blood and a lowered breast cancer recurrence risk. Tomatoes contain alpha and beta carotenoids and as such, are frequently touted for their anti-cancer properties.
Enjoy the video below where the speaker talks about prostate cancer, but also cancer in general, and how important lycopene is for the body and everyone . . . and specifically mentions breast cancer close to the 1:50 mark.
3. Watermelon: Deemed one of the best antioxidants around, watermelons contain vitamins A and C as well as the antioxidant, lycopene. All of these work together to better regulate free radicals in the body, preventing them from damaging (or further damaging cells) or causing cellular mutations.
4. Cauliflower: The singer and actress, Olivia Newton-John, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and is a survivor. Today, she enjoys eating mainly vegetables, fish and whole grains. One item in her cookbook, Livwise: Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life, is a cauliflower puree and trout dish. Cauliflower, as with many other of the brassica vegetable species, has been shown to contain molecules that suppress breast cancer cells.
5. Green tea: Polyphenol E, an extract found in green tea, has been shown to slow breast cancer growth. In a study conducted by Katherine Crew, MD, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, 40 women who had already been treated for breast cancer were given either green tea extract or a placebo. “After two months of Polyphenol E, there was a reduction in hepatocyte growth factor,” she says. The hepatocyte growth factor is related to cell growth and spread.
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