Fighting Breast Cancer with Nutrition
Women take heed: the risk of breast cancer increases with age. Your chance of developing breast cancer is 1 out of 233 in your twenties, but by age 85 the chances increase dramatically to 1 out of 8. Research shows there are ways to improve these chances. Implementing healthy eating habits and understanding the consequences of not following good nutrition become even more important for women over 20. Most experts on breast cancer recommend having a clinical breast exam and a mammogram regularly, but drinking less alcohol, addressing any weight issues, eliminating sugar, and eating a healthy diet are equally significant.
Sugar and Cancer
Much research shows that’s sugar’s relationship to higher insulins and related growth factors may influence cancer cell growth. “A lot of patients are told it doesn’t matter what you eat after you are diagnosed with cancer. This preliminary animal research suggests that it does matter.” said Lorenzo Cohen of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer study who worked on the study. The findings of the study showed that at least two thirds of all cases of cancer come down to lifestyle choices-tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, and lack of exercise. They found that refined sugar is one of the culprits. Particularly, fructose helps cells metastasize or spread. In this study, mice were fed four different diets either heavy in starch or heavy in different types of sugar. Results showed sucrose/fructose/glucose but not starch are associated with increased breast cancer. Tumors grew bigger and faster with diets higher in sugar. There are other reasons other than cancer to minimize sugar. Sugar heavy diets can fuel heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Drink less alcohol
Alcohol increases your risk for liver, esophageal, larynx, colon, and breast cancer. If you have a family history, your best bet is to avoid alcohol consumption. The studies are clear that regular intake of alcohol is linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer in women. Drinking alcohol is a controllable risk factor. Too little folate in the body increases your cancer risk.
Daily dose of cruciferous vegetables
Every day eat one serving of the crunchy cruciferous vegetables. Some examples are: kale, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, and kohlrabi, all of which help build your immune system. I like to mix up my favorite salad or soup, and always include one of these. But remember all vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, and show promise for reducing cancer risk. Kale chips are a great snack, one of my favorites is Chipotle Kale Chips.
Extra weight …increases cancer risk
If you are overweight, lose weight. Easily said, I know, but eat less of the sugary drinks, cakes, cookies, candy, and highly processed foods like chips and crackers because of the high calories. Diets high in fat, are loaded with calories and contribute to obesity, which increases the odds for cancer. In March 2008, a study done at University of Texas M.D. Andersen Cancer Center showed that obese and overweight women had lower breast cancer survival rates.
Cancer fighting tips
- Add 200 mcg of Selenium or two Brazil nuts daily
- Daily eat 1-2 tablespoons of golden ground flax seed, as the seeds are rich in lignans which have been shown to reduce tumor size
- Exercise 30-40 minutes daily to lose weight
- Avoid soy, because of the estrogenic effect on the body
- Drink at least 8 cups water daily, water dilutes the exposure to the cancer and limits the amount of time the body is exposed to the toxins
- Avoid foods loaded with preservatives or artificial substances
- Avoid sugar in all forms, and limit fruit intake
Taking care of your health is more important than ever. By making the dietary and health changes you can reduce your risk of breast cancer.