|Who gets breast cancer?|
|Risks of Breast cancer|
- A family history ( genetics)
- Delaying pregnanzy until after 30 or never getting pregnant
- Early menstruation ( before age 12)
- Late menopause ( after age 55)
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Daily consumption of Alcohol
Apart from these environmental and genetic factors, following a certain diet is correlated to the occurrence of cancer. A study published in the journal of the national cancer institute( Read here )found that 35% of cancer deaths are due to dietary habits. So here I quote Hippocrates. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".
Indeed, The trick to staying healthy is intelligently choosing food. Even sometimes taking medicine is not enough to get healed.
So there are certain foods were proven scientifically that help in cancer prevention and in healing it by causing apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells and preventing their proliferation from breast to the body. These foods are categorized to be easily remembered.
- Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods: Eggs and dairy are a very good source of calcium and vitamin D, proven to protect against breast cancer.
- Cruciferous vegetables:
The unpleasant smell and bitter taste of cabbage is due to the sulfur compounds which have a detoxifying effect. These compounds boost the performance of liver in getting rid of cancerous body wastes. Besides cabbage, there is also kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, that have other chemical compounds (ex: indole-3-carbinol) that zone out cancer.
- High fiber foods : Oat meal, whole wheat bread, flaxseeds, rice and legumes (peas and beans) are rich in fibers. Fibers and lignans eliminate oestrogens out of our bodies. Oestrogens are hormone like substances, from plastics and chemicals and trigger cell division in our breasts, leading to cancer. Fibers improve bowl movement and eliminate toxic wastes from the intestine.
- Antioxidants rich food:
Antioxidants are known for scavenging free radicals that come from our environment through inhaling chemicals or consuming them through food. This category includes all the dark red, purple fruits mostly such as, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit and pomegranate. They contain polyphenol, a type of antioxidant.
- The “yellow or orange” colored food: These colored fruit and vegetables are a rich source of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A and a potent antioxidant .Turmeric yellow powder commonly used as a spice is also in this category.
- The “good fat” food : Consuming sea food at least twice a week was linked to lower incidences of breast cancer. This is due to the presence of omega-3 fats that slow down the growth of tumors and enhances the immune system. Avocadoes (high in oleic acid), or unsalted nuts such almonds, walnuts, and peanuts, they have also been proven to prevent cancer. Those foods have the good fat i.e. the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
Also avoiding overconsumption of red meat, pork, lard and margarine is advised. These types of fat are highly to be causing not just heart diseases but also cancer.
Beside a good diet, one need to exercise not only for keeping oneself fit but for rejuvenating body cells and blood circulation, and boosting one’s metabolism. A healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer should also be stress free, focusing on the positive things and not falling in the abyss of depression.
Breast Cancer Org
Health & Nutrition
Part of this post appeared in the AUB's Outlook student newspaper : Volume 44, Issue 17.