A Healthy Diet to Help You Decrease Your Chances of Breast Cancer - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

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Published on August 04, 2013

A Healthy Diet to Help You Decrease Your Chances of Breast Cancer

Not long ago, Angelina Jolie announced that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after discovering she was at high risk for developing breast cancer. Although she made the decision after testing positive for a mutation of the BRCA gene, which can indicate a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer, it’s important to note that genetics is linked to only ten percent of all breast cancers. Since this method of prevention isn’t right for everyone, there are other ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Following a healthy diet, for example, is one of them.

While there is no particular ‘Super Food’ that will protect you against the disease, there are many foods that can help make a difference. In fact, if you include them into your diet in addition to making other lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, you can reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to 38 percent.

How is this possible?

Research shows that consuming certain minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals in foods that are plant based can result in synergy, which boosts anti-cancer effects. And it doesn’t only help to prevent cancer—it can also help those who have already been diagnosed. Following a diet that’s mostly plant-based can increase energy levels among women who are currently being treated for cancer.

To get the most out of every meal, here are some foods you should include to keep your body healthy:

  • Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, chard, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, winter squash, cabbage, sauerkraut
  • Legumes
  • Whole Grains
  • Flaxseed
  • Soy from whole foods such as soy milk, edamame, and tofu.
  • Walnuts
  • Fruits: grapes (or grape juice), peaches, plums, fruits high in Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Foods high in Vitamin D, such as low fat milk, cereal, cod, tuna, shrimp, salmon
  • Green tea
  • Cumin

Additionally, there are some items you should cross off your list, such as:

  • High fat dairy, including whole milk, cream, ice cream, and cheese (unless labeled fat free).
  • Limit consumption of red meat, salt, processed carbohydrates
  • Excess alcohol: Since moderate alcohol intake was linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, you should limit your alcohol consumption to one drink a day. That can be either one glass of wine, one bottle of beer, or a shot of liquor.

For more information about Crozer-Keystone Health System Cancer Services, visit http://ckcancer.crozerkeystone.org. You can also call 1-866-695-HOPE (4673) to request an appointment with a physician who cares for cancer patients.

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