Breast Cancer Prevention: What You Need to Know
22nd OF October 2012
The statistics surrounding Breast Cancer are staggering. The second most common cancer to cause death in women will affect 1 in 8 of us by the age of 85. While it may not be possible to avoid the occurrence of breast cancer, genetic predetermination is a significant and determinative risk factor, a healthy weight is a key factor in breast cancer prevention. Further, maintaining a healthy lifestyle after treatment is important to preventing reoccurrence.
Here are some nutrition guidelines for Breast Cancer prevention:
• Limit the amount of red meat - Processed meat is out and red meat should be limited to around 500 grams a week.
When cooking meat, go for medium rare. Cooking meat at high temperatures produces chemicals called heterocyclic amines, which have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. Roasting and baking produce fewer HCAs.
Use stainless steel pans when cooking. Aluminum mimics oestrogen when it enters the body, which may increase the risk of cancerous growth (many deodorants also use aluminium, so consider switching to a natural deodorant).
Soy products such as tofu are a great vegetarian protein alternative. Research into isoflavones, a group of phytoestrogens found occurring naturally in soy beans, has shown that a regular intake of soy may be protective against breast cancer. Research does warn against high levels of ingestion of soy supplements and, so, it is important that (non-GMO!) soy is consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet.
• Eat 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day - Increase your intake of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and replace white potato with sweet potato to boost phytonutrients. When cooking vegies, throw in a pinch of tumeric, it has active ingredients which protect against breast cancer.
Blueberries, pomegranates and prunes are great and delicious daily source of antioxidants.
Remember, colour is key. American Nutritionist Cortney Malcher says, when planning a meal, think of a rainbow.
• Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products - Fad grain quinoa lives up to its reputation, it is one of the only grains that are a complete protein.
• Limit alcohol intake - Alcohol may raise oestrogen levels and decrease the ability of the body to use folic acid and vitamin B. the recommended intake is no more than one drink per day for women.
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