Every October we celebrate, educate, and spread awareness about Breast Cancer and whatever could contribute to its prevention. Most of us know someone personally that has experienced cancer or a "cancer scare;" and while the way to beat cancer is early detection, there are lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your risk.
Eating more farm-fresh foods that feed our bodies the right vitamins, nutrients, and minerals has been proven to help reduce the risk of cancer. According to BreastCancer.org, "Some scientists think that you could reduce your cancer risk by as much as 40% by eating more vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods that have certain phytochemicals in them." So, do yourself a favor and take a look at the list below and incorporate more of these cancer-fighting foods into your diet!
NOTE: While there is not one food or diet that can prevent you from getting breast cancer, eating more of these foods can help to reduce your risk.
KaleYou'll likely see one of two popular varieties of kale at your grocery store: Lacinto and Curly. Lacinto Kale (or dinosaur kale) is the less curly and frilly of the two, but equally as good. Kale is an extremely hearty green, which means they last longer in your fridge than more delicate greens. Kale has more calcium per calorie when compared to a glass of milk, which makes kale a great choice for people who avoid dairy products. Kale is rich in phytochemicals which are believed to protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer. Make kale chips, sautee with garlic, or massage with avocado for a salad that will keep int he fridge for a few days!
CarrotsNot only do carrots come in a variety of colors, carrots are very rich in many different vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and antioxidants! Additionally, carrots contain over 100 phytochemicals! Try our recipe for Roasted Rainbows with Carrot Top Pesto.
BerriesAntioxidants have been shown to protect your bodies cell from free radicals such as pollution, radiation, and cigarette smoke. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top fruit sources of antioxidants" so make sure you eat at least one serving these berries per day! Add berries to yogurt, smoothies, or eat as a small snack or dessert with dark chocolate. If you'd like to learn more about strawberries, make sure you visit the Florida Strawberry Growers Association website!
Sweet PotatoDid you know that sweet potatoes contain 368% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A?! WOW! This is because sweet potatoes have a large amount of beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body. Beta-Carotene may help to reduce your risk of cancer, which is why the Mayo Clinic recommends you choose red, orange (as in these sweet potatoes), deep yellow and dark green leafy vegetables every day. Not as healthy for you, even though delicious, is sweet potato fries. Try roasting or steaming instead.
SoyAccording to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, women who consume soy are less likely to develop breast cancer. So try adding more tofu, soy milk, soybeans, and tempeh to your meals as a low fat, high protein meat replacement.
Note: Always consult a physician for any specific health questions and concerns. Some of this information may be subject to change should there be any new findings from Federal Health Administration (FHA), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), American Medical Association (AMA), American Cancer Society (ACS), and / or other leading food, nutrition and medical advisors.