Eat Your Way to Good Health
The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 25 to 30% of cancers in the United States could be avoided. The cause of most cancers are due to poor eating habits, inactivity (not exercising), smoking, and obesity (being overweight). Obesity is believed to account for 20% of cancer deaths in women and 14% for men. Smoking accounts for 30% of cancer deaths in men and women.
To reduce our risk of developing breast cancer, we must take a total lifestyle approach of maintaining a healthy weight, incorporating physical activity into our daily/weekly routines, avoid cigarette smoking, limit alcoholic beverages to 1 or fewer per day, avoid or limit using hormone replacement therapy, and eat “Super Foods” which are considered cancer fighters.
Who would have thought the foods you eat could help in the battle against breast cancer? Researchers have identified a list of “Super Foods” as cancer fighters. Eating healthy to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer does not have to be bland or tasteless. In fact, many of these “Super Foods” are things that you already enjoy eating. The other foods can easily be incorporated into meals you already eat.
The Health Improvement Program of the Stanford University Prevention Center listed the following as “Super Foods”:
1) Beans – high in fiber and shown to reduce your risk of many cancers. (3 servings per week suggested by dietitians).
2) Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) – slows the reproduction of cancer cells, with blueberries reducing the risk of developing cancer. (3 svgs per week).
3) Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, (Brussels sprouts, Bok choy, beets) – slows cancer growth and development. (2 cups per week suggested).
4) Romaine lettuce, collard or mustard greens, chicory, Swiss chard (spinach, sweet potatoes, yams, turnip greens) – eliminates free radicals from the body that can promote cancer growth. (2 svgs or more per week).
5) Flaxseed – Flaxseed in the form of oil and meal contains phytoestrogens believed to reduce the risk of breast, skin, and lung cancer. Research on the potency is still being researched.
6) Garlic (onions, leeks, chives) – slows or stops growth of cancer tumors. (1 x per week).
7) Grapes (red or purple) – prevents cell damage (which can lead to cancer) before it begins.
8) Green tea (decaffeinated) – prevents the development of cancer in the breast (3 cups per day).
9) Soy (tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts) – protects against cancers by acting as an estrogen inhibitor. Most common breast caners are estrogen positive.
10) Tomatoes (sauce, paste, juice) have lycopene and Vitamin C which protects against breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Oranges, grapefruits, green peppers are also high in Vitamin C.
11) Whole grain foods – with a balanced diet can decrease the risk of developing most cancers.