During the month of October, we all go pink for National Breast Cancer Month to support awareness and to encourage women to get tested earlier versus later. Knowing your risk and what to do about it can likely help lower your chances of encountering breast cancer. From an eating standpoint, consuming nutrient-rich foods can strengthen your immune system and help it fight off all kinds of disease and illness.
Most “cancer prevention diets” boast of predominantly plant-based eating to help limit your intake of saturated fats and other cancer-causing agents. Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, in addition to fatty fish are rich in the nutrients you need to strengthen your body. Consuming a colorful diet is ideal to help a body fight off dangerous, cancer-forming agents. Here are 5 foods to include in your diet to help you eat for the love of your boobs:
- Tart cherries: Tart cherries contain five times the antioxidant vitamin C power of oranges! They are superior because they provide high levels of some novel anthocyanins (antioxidants) that are absent from a number of other anthocyanin-rich foods, such as blueberries. Whether you eat them as a snack or make a post-workout juice from them, tart cherries are a nutrient-rich boost to your day!
- Turmeric: It’s the curcumin in the spice that most researchers agree is what gives turmeric its powerful antioxidant properties, along with its bright yellow color. Studies have shown that curcumin, in conjunction with certain drug-based therapy, could play a role in helping fight breast cancer tumors. It may also have anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit overall health.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help decrease inflammation in the body. Research also suggests that walnuts may actually slow the growth of breast cancer tumors, which can play a role in fighting cancer after a diagnosis.
- Orange Fruits and Vegetables: Foods like cantaloupe, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots (amidst others) are rich in the form of vitamin A called carotenoids. Women who have higher levels of carotenoids in their bloodstream seem to be at a decreased risk for breast cancer. There are actually 600 different carotenoids! Filling up on orange, red, yellow and even some dark green vegetables and fruits can help amp up your carotenoid levels!
- Fatty Fish: Fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and albacore tuna are rich in omega-3s which are anti-inflammatory. Because processed meats, higher-fat red meat and grilled meats are discouraged for those with cancer or those looking to prevent their risk for the disease, pan-seared or baked fish can be a great way to include lean, high quality protein in the diet.