While it is true that there is no particular food that can prevent and even cause cancer, it is safe to say that diet has a lot more to do with this health condition than one single thing. It all boils down to making the right choices in what to put into your body that makes the difference. Making some major changes is the pathway to lead you to improved health and cancer prevention. If you’ve already been diagnosed with it, a breast cancer diet plan is your best artillery to fight this battle.
Breast cancer has various contributing factors such as age, family history, gender, and genetics. Although these factors cannot be controlled, any individual has the ability to control some factors by making certain lifestyle changes. Medical researchers strongly indicate that smoking, weight management, and dietary changes could mainly be responsible for about 40 % of cancer cases.
Breast Cancer Diet Plan: Foods to Eat
Cancer can manifest in different areas of the body, grow in various shapes and sizes and can require specific treatments for each type of cancer. Some cancers respond well to other forms of treatment … while some make good progress with a proper cancer diet plan. A healthy diet is basic to a person’s state of being and health. Choosing the right food to nourish your body can be the key to preventing any cancerous cells to develop and progress to breast cancer.
The following foods are highly recommended for the prevention of breast cancer
- Spices that are rich in anti-inflammatory healing properties
- Vitamin D rich food
- Soy-based products
- Fiber-rich food such as whole grains, legumes, beans, lentils
- Low-fat milk and low-fat dairy products
- Plenty of fruits and veggies
Medical research found women who stick to a diet that is mainly plant-based could cut their chances of developing breast cancer but at about 15 percent. Filling up with 8- 10 servings of a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables a day is considered ideal.
Although it is not recommended to go on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, fruits and vegetables should make up more than half of your plate in each meal. They are overflowing with a host of beneficial substances such as carotenoids and flavonoids that are best known to fight and prevent breast cancer cells from growing. Here is a list of superfruits and vegetables that you can include in your daily breast cancer diet plan :
- Citrus fruit
- Dark green leafy veggies
Filling up with Fiber
Dietary fiber has not had much proven solid studies with regards to its effect on breast cancer, however, some studies suggest that it does have some protective/ preventive benefits against the disease. Fiber is a major player in the digestive system and regular waste eliminating processes, this can also mean flushing the body of toxins to keep them from causing damage.
In addition to this, fiber also helps the body eliminate estrogen. As most breast cancer treatments prevent estrogen from interacting with cancer cells, a diet rich in fiber can help accelerate the body to sweep up estrogen in the blood.
Antioxidants can also be found in many fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, and lentils which have gained a reputation in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Cancer nutrition recommends 30 – 45 % of fiber per day.
The Good Fats
Although it doesn’t seem that fats would be listed as something good, most especially for breast cancer, not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are actually the good guys. Olive oil, avocados nuts, and seeds all contain good amounts of healthy fats.
Fish such as salmon, herring, cod, tuna, trout, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, that are found to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Studies say that omega 3 fatty acids found in fish reduce inflammation which is a major contributing agent to breast cancer.
Cancer nutrition experts recommend a daily intake of about 20 -30 % healthy fats in your diet plan. Make sure that no more than 8 % of the total calories are saturated fat. You may also purchase omega 3 fish oil supplements from your local health store or online.
For the past couple of decades, soy has cornered the market as a healthy food source for protein, fat and essential vitamins and minerals. Another great thing about soy products is it is plant-based and low in carbohydrates. Apart from being a superfood for reducing breast cancer risk, it is also known to lower bad cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health. Commonly used soy products are tofu, soy milk, tempeh, edamame, and soy nuts.
Breast Cancer Diet Plan: Foods to Avoid
While scientists and medical researchers are still exploring the impact of food on breast cancer, there are certain things that are generally not good for the body.
Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of acquiring breast cancer. Reports say that alcohol increases the levels of estrogen in the blood which in turn causes major damage to DNA cell structure. Women who drink an average of three alcoholic bevies each week have an increased risk of 15 % in developing breast cancer. For every additional alcoholic drink per day pads the risk with another 10 percent.
Although not all fats are considered bad, it is important to note that fat from processed foods is greatly attributed to increased risk of breast cancer. However, fats from fruits and vegetables do the opposite and decrease the risk. Trans fats are associated with breast cancer and should be eliminated from your diet. Trans fats are usually present in most processed food, fried food, and packaged pastries.
Medical studies on mice that were given a diet high in sugar showed the development of tumors on mammary glands. These can be easily applied to humans who live on a diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Such tumors are also likely to spread to other areas of the body.
A number of studies have associated red meat with a greater chance of developing breast cancer, most especially in “well done” meat. Most processed meats such as cold cuts also pack a high amount of fat, salt, and preservatives, all of which are culprits of bad news for preventing breast cancer.