Diet and lifestyle choices go a long way towards curbing cancer risk. Research statistics estimate that healthy diet modifications support to prevent almost 9 of every 100 cancer cases (9%) and almost 5 of every 100 (5%) cancers could be avoided by maintaining a healthy body weight.
While diseases such as obesity, heart attacks and blood pressure mostly occur as a result of our lifestyle choices and the foods we eat, breast cancer does not follow this ideology. No food or diet can prevent the occurrence of breast cancer, but some foods can increase your health quotient, make you as fit as possible, boost your immune system and keep you at a minimal risk for breast cancer. Furthermore, as breast cancer is a hormone-driven disease having control over your weight (especially over the age of 50 as obesity is the most concerning risk factor) is helpful.
Breast cancer occurrence is lower in countries that follow a plant-based diet and is low in total fat. There is even one study that shows that girls in their puberty period who indulge in high-fat diet but don’t become obese/overweight are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
Breast cancer starts in different places, grows in different ways and requires different kinds of treatment. As a society, we are used to taking a pill to cure our illnesses and diseases and promoting a healthy lifestyle to reduce breast cancer risk might seem intriguing to some individuals. But the fact remains that avoiding obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption, eating a well-balanced diet and engaging in physical activity lifelong are the best suggestions for decreased breast cancer risk. The following foods can be part of any healthy diet plan and help to avoid occurrence or progression of the disease:
Eat 5 portions of fruits and veggies daily: Most RDNs agree that a plant-based diet is healthier than an animal-based one as it is lower in fat content and higher in fiber content comparatively. Eating produce satisfies the phytochemical needs of the body as these biologically active compounds have some of the protective qualities that may fend off cancer. Phytochemical is the general term used here to indicate all plant-based compounds such as antioxidants, flavonoids, flavones and isoflavones. It is highly beneficial to include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts as these are rich in phytochemicals and also equip the body with plentiful fiber. Other interesting ways to spice up your meal with fruits and veggies include:
A study shows that women who consume more fat after menopause were at an increased risk of breast cancer. Keep fat on the lower side by using a low-fat dressing, avoiding processed meats and cold cuts that are rich in fats and salt, choosing lean cuts of meat, fish and poultry, trimming fats from meat, poultry and fish and removing skin from poultry and fish.
Some studies suggest restricting the consumption of red meat as it is associated with increased breast cancer risk. Substitute beef or pork with fish and lamb; eat chicken once a week or use beans or lentils as your main course.
Throw in healthy food choices to your diet: Prepare meals in a healthier way sticking to these principles:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.