A healthy diet is always good for you, but recent studies have shown that diets with less saturated fats and more raw vegetables and fruit can considerably reduce the risk of breast cancer in women over the age of forty.
Although breast cancer is not directly linked to a specific dietary change, eating healthier can keep your body in shape to fight off the disease. A healthy diet will boost your immune system, regulate your metabolism, and help you reduce your risk of contracting breast cancer.
What can you do to reduce your risk of breast cancer?
Avoid saturated fats
If you can limit the amount of fatty foods you consume to 25% of your daily intake, then you will considerably reduce your risk of breast cancer. Saturated fats found in meats, butter, cakes and pastries all negatively influence your bodily health and immune system. More importantly, the fats found in dairy products like cream and cheese are more likely to increase your cancer risk than other fatty foods.
Avoid these items altogether and replace them with healthy, polyunsaturated fats like those found in plant-based oils, like safflower oil, and seeds like flax, hemp, and sesame. A simple dietary change like this can help keep you healthy.
Adopt a plant-based diet
Studies have shown that avoiding fatty foods and increasing your intake of raw fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Bright-colored fruits and veggies like red peppers, tomatoes, and carrots are great for your body, because the carotenoids that give these foods their color help to increase the strength of your immune system. In fact, all fruits and vegetables contain vital antioxidants that are key in keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
To incorporate more of these colored goodies into your diet, consider buying a new fruit or veggie every time you go grocery shopping. In addition, going on a diet does not mean reducing your access to delicious food.
Instead, expand your palette and try things you never tried before. Make your own pasta from squash, add kale to your favorite fruit smoothie, and add some raw cabbage to a classic potato salad recipe. All of these will create a new taste experience and may help in reducing your risk of cancer.
Consume more phytoestrogens (if you’re post-menopausal)
For post-menopausal women, high amounts of human estrogen can increase the odds of being diagnosed with breast cancer, and eating more of certain types of fruits and vegetables may affect the amount of estrogen in your body.
By consuming a plant-based diet high in phytoestrogens, you can decrease your risks of cancer by increasing the amount of plant estrogen in your body. This is because plant estrogen, or phytoestrogen, decreases the density of breast tissue in post-menopausal women while human estrogen increases it. Dense breast tissue is more likely to develop tumors than less dense tissue, thus increasing the risks of breast cancer diagnoses.
However, by eating wild yam, ginseng, thyme, hops, flax, beans (pinto, lima, & split peas), broccoli, cabbage, and apricots, you can increase your intake of phytoestrogens and reduce your risk of cancer. You can also consider adding flaxmeal to smoothies or cereal to give your body an extra boost, as flax seeds are both high in fiber and lignans, which are considered a phytoestrogen.
Eating more fruits and vegetables and decreasing your intake of fatty foods will all do wonders for your health and your body. However, remember that your although your diet can severely boost the strength of your immune system and keep your body strong, it is not a fool-proof way of avoiding breast cancer.
In order to ensure that you don’t have breast cancer, be aware of your body. Self-examine your breasts to make sure that no unusual lumps are forming. Know your family medical history, as the risk of breast cancer is high among women who have relatives with the disease. Last but not least, get your breasts checked by the doctor regularly, particularly if you’re over 40 years old (they have a better chance of feeling something that isn’t quite right).
By altering your lifestyle to adopt better dietary habits and being more self-aware of your body, you can greatly reduce your risk of breast cancer and lead a healthier life.