Two studies released by the University of California, San Diego and the Genesis Prevention Center at University Hospital in South Manchester, England show that diet can play a large role in breast cancer prevention. These studies are telling us something that many of us likely already know: the best tool we have in cancer prevention is our diet. After all, food is our daily medicine, everyday, three times a day. What we eat matters.
Our diet can do a lot for breast cancer prevention at the root and in the same way, a particularly thoughtless diet can feed cancer. White flour and white sugar for example, deplete your body of so many nutrients that over time, your body is unable to fight illness. It can’t defend itself against intruders. Not to mention that cancer feeds on sugar at 10 to 50 times the rate that it feeds on other nutrients. Bottom line--sugar indirectly feeds cancer.
That’s why holistic health nutritionist and breast cancer survivor, Kristina Sampson shuns white flour and white sugar. While she contends that moderation is key because stressing out over your diet just makes the problem worse, these two culprits don’t deserve a place on any women’s plate.
Since beating cancer, Sampson, who was always somewhat of a health nut, has cut back on dairy, eats WAY more vegetables, and has learned to do the best she can at every meal.
With the help of Sampson and a boat load of research studies, we’ve put together a list of foods that are continually found to protect against cancer cells. While they're not a guarantee against developing cancer, adding these foods to your plate while limiting processed, sugary foods, alcohol, non-organic meats, and soda, can do at lot to put you in the driver’s seat.
81 Foods for Breast Cancer Prevention to Start Eating Right Now
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in folate and chlorophyll, which play an important role in repairing DNA and the methylation of DNA which impacts the expression of cancer cells. Chlorophyll can form tight bounds with carcinogens like tobacco and charred meat so they can't be absorbed in the body. Below is a list of yummy cruciferous vegetables.
2. Bok choy
4. Brussels sprouts
7. Chinese cabbage
8. Collard greens
9. Daikon radish
13. Land cress
14. Mustard greens
The Allium Family
Another group of foods that are highly important for cancer prevention is the onion family because they contain components called allyl sulfides, which play a major role in cell cycling. This means they prevent normal cells from turning into cancer cells. This group of superfoods may surprise you.
17. White onions
18. Yellow onions
19. Purple onions
20. Vidalia onions
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Some studies have found that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids suppress the growth of cancer. However, ALA, the omega-3 fatty acid found in plant-based sources, has not been found to have the same impact. All sources of fish should be wild caught and not farm raised to avoid other chemicals that may be added like PCBs. Try these omega-3 fatty acid foods.
32. Omega-3 enriched eggs
Mushrooms are also important for cancer prevention. Studies on animals have found that mushrooms have anti-cancer benefits. According to Sampson, just one mushroom a day can reduce your risk of breast cancer by 60 percent.
35. Hen of the Woods
Studies have also shown that 2-12 ounces of coffee a day lowers your risk of an aggressive form of breast cancer. Researchers think that this may occur because of the antioxidants. Make sure to buy organic, because non-organic coffee is often sprayed with obscene amounts of pesticides.
High Fiber Foods
According to a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, increasing your fiber intake reduces your risk of breast cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber in a women’s diet, it reduces your risk of breast cancer by 7 percent. Try these high fiber foods.
40. Split peas
42. Black beans
43. Lima beans
45. Green peas
50. Flaxseed meal
51. Chia seeds
Researchers at Harvard Medical School said that women with high levels of carotenoids have a lower risk of breast cancer. Carotenoids include all your favorite red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables.
53. Sweet potatoes
54. Red peppers
55. Butternut squash
56. Spaghetti squash
57. Sugar pie squash
58. Hubbard squash
Lycopene is another cancer inhibitor. Research has shown that berry extracts slowed the growth of cancer cells. Berries contain vitamin C and other anti-cancer nutrients like ellagic acid.
64. Acai berry
67. Goji berry
68. Grapes (actually classified as a berry)
Flavonoids and bioflavonoids have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. These antioxidants reduce cellular damage that can lead to cancer. Here are some foods that are loaded with them.
69. Green tea
70. Black tea
71. Oolong tea
74. Chamomile tea
While soy is a controversial food, some large studies have found that breast cancer survivors that ate whole soy products (1/2 cup per day), were less likely to have a reoccurrence. Buy organic because the majority of soy in the U.S. is GMO. Additionally, make sure your soy isn’t processed but is still in its whole form.
78. Soy milk (Buy the most unprocessed varieties)
Studies have found that antioxidant rich pomegranate juice and pomegranate extract can hinder the growth of estrogen expressed cancer cells.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a disease fighting powerhouse. It's shown promise in inhibiting breast cancer cells.
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