Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may help women to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
The new research, published in the International Journal of Cancer and led by a team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower as well as orange vegetables including sweet potatoes and carrots showed the most notable benefits in decreasing the risk.
Women who consumed more than five-and-a-half servings of fruits and vegetables daily decreased their breast cancer risk by 11 percent compared with women who consumed 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
“Although prior studies have suggested an association, they have been limited in power, particularly for specific fruits and vegetables and aggressive subtypes of breast cancer,” said first author Maryam Farvid.
“This research provides the most complete picture of the importance of consuming high amounts of fruit and vegetables for breast cancer prevention.”
Raw and cooked fruits and vegetables both offered benefits; in some cases cooking helps to release potent antioxidants known for their cancer-fighting abilities.
“While a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is associated with many other health benefits, our results may provide further impetus for women to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables,” said senior author Heather Eliassen.
Dozens of studies have found a strong correlation between increased fruit and vegetable consumption and a reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Earlier this month, Dr. Kristi Funk, the breast cancer surgeon to the stars, warned women against eating meat and dairy because of the increased cancer risk. The vegan doctor said “[T]he everything-in-moderation mantra rubs me up the wrong way . . . Why consume cancer-causing meats in moderation? So that maybe I can remove a moderate part of your breast?”
While there are a scant few studies pointing to the benefits on a vegan diet mitigating cancer — largely due to the historically low vegan population numbers — Funk says more studies moving forward are likely to support her findings. Especially, she notes, as the Millennial and Gen Z generations are opting for more plant-based diets than previous generations.
“It is crystal clear that the body’s cellular response to animal protein and fat is nothing but dangerous,” she told the Sunday Times.
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