Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in the western world. Understanding how important it is as a disease, we found in collaboration with our expert Nutritionist, Alexandra Kontodimou, 10 foods that can act protectively against its appearance.
October has been established as a month dedicated to the prevention, education and awareness of breast cancer. Although the occurrence of breast cancer has multifactorial causes, the role of diet in both the prevention and treatment of the disease is important.
According to research, specific eating habits and foods can reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve the outcome in those who have already had this form of cancer.
According to the World Cancer Research Center and the US Cancer Research Institute, about 30-40% of all cancers are related to diet, physical activity, obesity and other risk factors.
The foods and micronutrients of foods that have been shown to be protective against breast cancer are:
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer because they contain glycosinolic compounds, which have significant anti-cancer properties.
- Green tea due to its content of epigallocatechin-3-french (EGCG) seems to have a positive effect on the prevention and outcome of breast cancer.
- Fruits are usually high in polyphenols, which gives the fruit great antioxidant activity and can help reduce the risk of cancer.
- The antioxidants in berries, including flavonoids and anthocyanins, have been shown to protect against cell damage as well as the growth and spread of cancer cells.
- Leafy green vegetables (lettuce, arugula, spinach, mustard, celery) contain carotenoid antioxidants (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin), the consumption of which is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
- Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, and are associated with a reduced risk of many cancers, including breast cancer. In addition, carotenoids such as b-cryptoxanthin and b-carotene, as well as flavonoid antioxidants such as quercetin, hesperetin and naringenin.
- Consumption of fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel, are known for their impressive health benefits and reduced risk of breast cancer. Fatty fish are rich sources of omega-3 fats, selenium and can offer protective effects on cancer.
- Soy products are rich in isoflavones. According to meta-analyzes, isoflavone intake was significantly associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
- Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut contain probiotics and other nutrients that can protect against breast cancer.
- Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, has also shown significant anti-cancer properties.
Foods that should be avoided or consumed in moderation:
- Alcohol can significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. Regular consumption of fast food increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and breast cancer.
- Processed meat products such as bacon, sausage and various cold cuts can also increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
- A diet high in sugar can significantly increase the risk of developing breast cancer by increasing inflammation and the spread of cancer.
A balanced diet with variety and emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables and our removal from the “western type” diet can have a protective effect on the occurrence of most cancers.
If we have to keep something, it is that the risk factors related to lifestyle and diet are modifiable and that a balanced diet is an investment in ourselves and our health.