October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime in the United States. Sadly, 40,000 women will die from the disease this year.
What does this mean for you? You can reduce your own risk of developing breast cancer by making healthy food choices. While a healthy diet that is high in fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and plant-based proteins can lower your risk of all cancers, research has shown some foods to be particularly beneficial to preventing breast cancer.
To help reduce your risk, here are some nutritional guidelines to consider:
- Eat more broccoli. A recent study found that sulforaphane, a nutrient found in broccoli, inhibited the growth of breast cancer stem cells in mice, which are the cells that encourage tumors to grow.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Numerous studies have acknowledged a link between alcohol and a higher risk of developing certain kinds of breast cancer. Even moderate alcohol consumption can increase risk of breast cancer.
- Drink coffee. Some studies suggest that coffee can have a preventive effect on certain types of breast cancer. However, coffee can have other negative effects on the body, so enjoy in moderation.
- Eat Fiber-Rich Foods. Studies suggest that eating fiber-rich foods may lower your risk for breast cancer. You can increase your fiber intake by consuming more beans, nuts, and vegetables. Many fiber-rich foods possess other cancer-fighting nutrients, such as berries, which are rich in antioxidants.
- Eat salmon or other fatty fish. A recent study in the British Medical Journal found an eighteen percent decreased risk of developing breast cancer when women consumed fish rich in Omega-3 fatty oils. While other fish contain these cancer-fighting fats, salmon is one of the most concentrated sources
For more information about breast cancer, visit one of these helpful resources.