Sep 032012

breast cancer dietBreast Cancer Diet. Discover foods to fight breast cancer.

I don’t know of anyone whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer of some kind, and I’ve had some close friends diagnosed with breast cancer in the last two years. This is serious business, and we must learn what we can do to protect ourselves.

Breast cancer knows no age, gender, social or geographic boundaries. It affects about 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

If there’s any good news, it’s that death rates have been decreasing since 1990 — especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness in diet.

It is now known that many, many foods can reduce your risk of cancer, and that other foods can increase the risk of survival.

Breast Cancer Diet: What foods should I eat to prevent breast cancer?

  • Beta-carotene–Beta Carotene is a carotenoid compound responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their bright colored pigment. Foods with high levels include: Sweet potato, kale, turnip and mustard greens, carrots, spinach and butternut squash. Beta-carotene is a fat soluble vitamin, so eating the following foods with a fat like olive oil or nuts can help absorption.
  • Alpha-carotene–Alpha-carotene is part of a group of antioxidants known as carotenoids, which also includes beta-carotene and lycopene. Vegetables particularly high in alpha-carotene include yellow-orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash, and dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnip greens, collards, and watercress.
  • Lutein–The body cannot make this antioxidant so you must get it from eating carotenoid rich yellow, red or orange pigmented foods. Good choices are cantaloupe, squash, tomato, peppers, corn, and egg yolks—the darker the yolk, the better. According to The Lutein Information Bureau lightly cooked vegetables are a better source of lutein than raw, as the lutein is released when the cell walls are broken down by the cooking. If you eat these foods raw it’s important to eat some healthy fat along with them for proper absorption.
  • Ellagic acid—Ellagic acid is a potent compound found in berries. Recent research has shown it to be a very important chemo preventive agent because of its abilities to keep DNA from harm. Berries also contain quercetin, the powerful anticancer, anti-inflammatory and cardio protective antioxidant.

Don’t forget to spice things up–dried basil provides the most beta-carotene followed by dried parsley, marjoram, dried oregano, ground sage, and dried and fresh thyme.

I didn’t believe it when someone first told me about Kale chips. If you try them once you will be completely hooked. Click here for this week’s kale chips recipe on these mouthwatering delights.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I encourage you to look for a walk or run, or volunteer to help.
These are a few educational websites to help you determine your risk, or make a commitment to the cure:

Early detection saves lives.

Leave a Reply