Breast Cancer – Top Foods to Lower Your Risk
October was breast cancer awareness month but we should keep breast cancer fresh in our minds year-around. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and an enthusiastic member the Board of Directors of the Prevent Cancer Foundation (www.preventcancer.org), I want to share my top food picks for maximizing breast health:
- Beans/Lentils – This category of food is uniquely high in several nutrients important for breast cancer protection, including fiber, folic acid, and phytoestrogens called lignans. According to Harvard’s Nurses’ Study, those who consumed beans or lentils at least twice a week were 24% less likely to get breast cancer then those who consumed them less than once a week.
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower) – Phytochemicals found in this class of vegetables, namely sulforaphane and indoles are among the most potent naturally occurring anti-breast cancer agents ever identified. It’s best to eat cruciferous vegetables raw or lightly cooked, as their phytochemicals can be destroyed by heat.
- Carotenoid-rich vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, collards, kale, spinach and sweet potatoes) – This delicious and super-nutritious bunch gets their anti-cancer punch from plant pigments called carotenoids. In addition to providing yellow, red and orange hues, carotenoids offer broad-spectrum, natural chemoprevention. Light cooking actually increases the bioavailability of carotenoids, so enjoy this group of veggies cooked for optimal results.
- Oily Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring) –Oily fish are loaded with the megastar nutrient, omega 3 fats, and the only food that naturally contains significant amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a critical role in cancer protection and deficiencies are quite common. You can now get Wild Alaskan Salmon in single serving, convenient shelf-stable vacuum sealed packets. I dump this salmon-in-a-snap on a big plate of salad greens for lunch 2-3x per week.
* For additional eating for breast health guidance, check out my Breast Health Grocery List
Superstar Foods for Breast Health [VIDEO]