October is breast cancer awareness month. Unfortunately, breast cancer is a disease that affects many woman and seems to be hitting woman younger and younger. I’ve had a few friends have a diagnosis of breast cancer in their 30s and it seems to becoming more prevalent. As a nutritionist I strongly believe in preventive care and living the healthiest life that you can live in order to prevent disease.
When I speak or council woman about their nutrition and health I like to talk about how
to include healthier foods into their diet and remove processed high estrogen foods.
I suggest that you eat more foods containing antioxidants. People who have diets rich in plant based foods have been shown to have lower incidence of cancers. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants work to stabilize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage cells and may cause cancer.
Choose fish, poultry, or beans as an alternative to high fat beef, pork and lamb. Try to always choose meats that are organic and grass fed to avoid excess hormones.
Avoid soy and any foods containing soy. Soy has been linked to causing excess estrogen in the body and causing female cancers. If you are eating soy make sure that it is fermented soy and not unfermented.
Prepare meat by baking, broiling or poaching, rather than by frying or charbroiling. Frying and charbroiling can cause carcinogens to form which have been link to cancers.
Choose foods that are low in sugar and limit the consumption of refined carbohydrates. Cancer has been shown to grow more rapidly in high sugar environments. Refined carbs and high sugar foods also cause inflammation in the body which causes more diseases and sickness.
Limit alcohol intake to no more then 1 drink a day for woman. Over consumption of alcohol has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer in woman.
Here are some foods you should add into your diet for breast health.
- Green Tea- EGCG is found in green tea and has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. It is recommended to drink at least 1-2 cups daily.
- Pomegranate- contains a phytochemical that is shown to inhibit tumor growth.
- Red grapes contain resveratrol a compound that can inhibit cell cancer growth.
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and mustard greens, have active constituents that have been shown to be effective in fighting cancer.
- Curcumin the active component of the spice turmeric functions indirectly as an antioxidant by inhibiting inflammation in the body.
- Wild Salmon is high in vitamin D which has been shown lately to be a huge in the prevention of cancer.
- Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are high in chlorophyll binds to carcinogens so that they can not be absorbed therefore having less damage on cells and tissues.
- Garlic has high levels of anti cancer properties and also acts like an antioxidant and can also prevent many infections and diseases.
It is also important to reduce estrogens found in toxins in your environment. Toxins are all around us and are hard to avoid in the world we now live in but we can make an effort to lower our exposure to toxins. Many toxins in our environment can mimic estrogens in the body and therefore increase our risk of breast cancer. Studies have linked excess estrogen to breast cancer. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your exposure.
- Reduce BPAs- found in plastic and food cans
- Reduce Phthalates- chemicals found soft flexible plastics like shampoos bottles, baby toys etc.
- Reduce canned foods
- Eat from glass, stainless steel, and ceramic containers
- Don’t microwave plastic
- Look for natural products of deodorants, lotions, cosmetics, nail products, hair products. You can consult environmental working group database, called skin deep (www.ewg/skindeep) for safe cosmetics. Avoid sodium lauryl sulfate
- Take off your shoes in the house. After walking on lawns or public gardens your can carry pesticides and other endocrine disruptors into your home.
Taking just a few small steps to change your nutrition and environmental can help to make you healthier and improve breast health.
If you love your boobs or love someone else’s share this with them!!
In health and happiness,