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Updated November 3, 2020
7 surprising foods that could decrease risk of breast cancer
Breast cancer is on the rise. This deadly form of cancer strikes at a rate of one in eight women. This year alone, nearly 266,120 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed, with 40,920 women expected to die from it. And while breast cancer can affect both women and men, a man’s breast cancer risk over the course of his lifetime is only one in a thousand by comparison.
By 2030, the number of new breast cancer cases is expected to increase by 50%. But according to research from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, only between 5% and 10% of those cases are due to genetics. That means many breast cancer cases have to do with lifestyle (like the foods you eat or how active you are) or the environment.
But just because this form of cancer is on the rise doesn’t mean you have to sit by and just hope it doesn’t happen to you. It turns out there are some simple, proactive steps you can take to amplify your health and protect yourself against breast cancer.
Ready to eat your way to better health? Try adding these seven surprising foods to your diet every day.
7 foods that could decrease risk of breast cancer
The humble avocado has been rated as the favorite food of nearly 60% of Americans, but it should be on the favorites food list of everyone around. Why? This simple fruit has some amazing potential for battling cancer cells and preventing breast cancer. Avocatin B is an avocado-specific fat that was found in a 2015 study to be effective at ridding the body of both cancer cells and cancer stem cells. These, along with 11 different carotenoids (including lutein), have been shown to play a direct role in preventing the growth or multiplication of certain cancer cells.
Mushrooms contain powerful anti-cancer agents. However, be aware that raw mushrooms actually contain a cancer-causing agent. (But don’t worry, it’s killed off by heat). Just be sure to cook your mushrooms thoroughly before enjoying. One of the main superpowers of the mushroom is its ability to inhibit aromatase, an enzyme used by breast cancer cells to create estrogen. One study showed that eating a mushroom a day lowered the risk of breast cancer by 60%. Another study revealed that diets high in mushrooms could control the production of aromatase and reduce estrogen production.
Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale and cauliflower are all high in phytochemicals called glucosinolates. These phytochemicals activate certain enzymes in the body that improve the metabolism’s ability to shift estrogen to effectively decrease the risk of breast cancer. It’s just one more reason why you should still listen to your mama’s words: always eat your broccoli and green veggies.
Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t just for your brain. This vital nutrient can help beat inflammation, which is the root cause of a majority of diseases today. But the phytosterols in walnuts have been shown to bind to estrogen and inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. This process can prevent cancer metastasis—as in, its growth and spread.
Beta-carotene is an important antioxidant that can slow cancer cell growth and protect the cells against the initial damage that can cause cancer. Studies have shown that beta-carotene plays a vital role in reducing the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. A diet high in veggies of every kind, including orange veggies, can help decrease the risk of developing cancer and increase survival rates for those battling the disease.
While it may not be anyone’s favorite lingering smell on the breath, this amazing vegetable can have a profound impact on cancer. Several studies have shown that eating garlic may be correlated with a decreased risk for a variety of cancers, including cancers of the stomach, breasts and esophagus. One French study suggested that the more garlic one ate, the lower their risk of developing breast cancer.
Polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to have positive anti-cancer benefits, is increasingly in the spotlight these days. The National Institute of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute led a small tea study that showed decreased levels of urinary estrogen—a major breast cancer-causing agent—in Japanese women who drank a cup of green tea every day. But the largest doses of the polyphenol antioxidants that are so nutritious are typically found in home-brewed tea rather than store-bought jugs of it, so brew away and drink it to your health.
Choosing the right foods and supplements can supply you with the antioxidants and nutrients necessary for a healthy life. If you’re ready to amplify your health, talk to your doctor about supplements and how to incorporate the right nutrients into your diet in the easiest way. Then, check out honest reviews of some of the top-rated supplements, here.