Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk

Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk

The month of October is NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. The pink ribbon is an international symbol of  breast cancer awareness. 

Your risk of developing breast cancer is highest if you are post-menopausal and overweight (25% above your ideal weight).  If this is you, now is the time to make some serious changes in your lifestyle pertaining to diet and exercise weight loss.  If you gained weight at around age 30 of 10 pounds, your risk is increased by 23%, 15 pounds – 37% and an increase of 20 pounds – 52%.  This isn’t meant to scare you, just to open your eyes and take a good, honest assessment of your risk.  There are good ways of reducing your breast cancer risk – and feel better all around.

Foods to prevent breast cancer

·      Pumpkins, yellow peppers and cantaloupe melons: 
Orange or yellow coloured fruit and vegetables are a rich source of betacarotene - which is the precursor of vitamin A and a potent antioxidant which helps fight off highly-reactive molecules that can harm our body and lead to severe diseases such as breast cancer. 

Recommended dose: Five portions a day (80 grammes per portion) to help protect against breast cancer. Between seven and ten portions a day if breast cancer has already developed.

·         Oily fish: 
Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, trout and salmon have all been linked to a lower incidence of breast cancer. This is thanks to the presence of omega-3 fats. 
Recent findings have revealed that Omega-3 oils prevent or slow down the growth of cancerous tumours and also boost our immune system
Recommended dose: Three portions of fresh oily fish each week

·         Pulses, wholegrains: 
Fibre contained in pulses and wholemeal foods help excrete oestrogens out of our bodies. Too many oestrogens from our own hormones and hormone-like substances found in plastics and chemicals can trigger cell division in our breast tissue. Evidence shows that too much cell division can lead to breast cancer. 

Fibre can help keep breast cancer at bay because it helps eliminate excess oestrogens from our body and prevents reabsorption of oestrogens in our intenstines. 
A high fibre diet also helps maintain a healthy gut. This is because soluble fibres create 'friendly bacteria' needed to fight off bad bacteria - meaning that your body is less exposed to harmful toxins that could cause cancer. 
Recommended dose: A cupful - or around 7oz - of pulses a day.
·       Cabbage: 
Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and kale - all members of the cabbage family are said to be highly toxic towards cancerous cells. This is because they contain cancer-fighting compounds known as indole-3-carbinol which is thought to deactivate oestrogen, and in turn, help reduce the risk of breast cancer. folic acid has been found to prevent and destroy cancer cells.

The sulphurophanes found in broccoli, which are responsible for its bitter taste, have been shown to improve the performance of enzymes in the liver which help detoxify our body. Levels of this vital enzyme are found to be low in women with breast cancer. Radishes, swede and turnips are also believed to be effective cancer fighting vegetables. 
Recommended dose: Five portions a day (80 grammes per portion) to help protect against breast cancer. Between seven and ten portions a day if breast cancer has already developed.

Eating almonds on a regular basis may have a positive effect in the fight against breast cancer for two reasons. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fat, which is considered to be healthy. They are also high in flavonoids. Flavonoids are implicated in the natural removal of cancer-causing agents in the body.

Flax seed  
Flax seed – contains the phytoestrogen lignan that shows promise in diminishing 
the onset of estrogen-stimulated breast cancer

Garlic is an herb that is integral to many delicious cuisines throughout the world, especially in Italian food. It gives food a distinctive flavor and also has the benefit of lowering rates of breast cancer. It contains dialyl sultides or allium compounds, which have been shown to enhance the activity of immune cells that fight cancer.

Green Tea
Green tea is loaded with Polyphenol antioxidants like Flavonoids, Bioflavonoids, and Isofavonoids
which have been found to enhance the activity of white blood cells and boost our bodies’ defenses against a broad range of illness, including many types of cancer (including breast cancer).

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