Eating for Good Breast Health
It’s finally the last quarter of 2020, a year that has undeniably taught us how to take care of our health more than anything else. Now that we’ve got handwashing, sanitizing, and social distancing down pat, this month gives us another opportunity to conquer something else besides COVID-19. With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in full swing, it’s not just about good health, but the best, err, breast health we can imagine!
Before anything else, let’s get some bad news out of the way: doctors have estimated that breast cancer could be in the cards for 3 out of every 100 Filipino women.(1) That may sound alarming, but the good news is that we can stack the odds in our favor through a healthy lifestyle, especially one with really good food. Watching what we eat and drink not only helps us reduce not just extra weight, but also the risk of developing breast cancer.(2) Here are three things to keep in mind for your next meal:
1. Be a plantita
Whether plants have become part of your quarantine activities or not, it’s also a good idea to keep them on your plate. Experts recommend sticking to a plant-based diet of fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, and whole grains that are all packed with cancer-fighting fiber and phytonutrients(3). Going the plant route also helps us keep a low-fat diet, which could lower breast cancer risk as well.(4)
If you’re not sure what to look for, try antioxidant powerhouses like blueberries(5), and choose cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage – they all contain compounds that prevent the growth of cancer cells!(6)
2. Get that Vitamin D
It’s hard to get the sunshine vitamin while we’re stuck indoors during lockdown, but knowing that low vitamin D levels have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer(7) could convince us to get more of it through our diet. To help regulate breast cells with vitamin D(8), add some egg yolks, liver, and fatty fish like salmon and sardines to your meals. It’s also found in fortified foods like milk and cereals, so you can start stocking up on this special nutrient at breakfast time.(9)
3. Don’t spill the tea
If better breast health is your cup of tea, the best options for your next drink might as well be green tea and oolong tea. Thanks to EGCG, the antioxidant that inhibits cancer cell growth, green tea has starred in many studies about reducing breast cancer risk(10). More recent studies have also pointed to oolong tea’s ability to damage breast cancer cells.(11) That’s reason enough to throw a tea party!
All these lifestyle changes could make or break the quest for better breast health, so it’s important to remember that we have the ability to improve our chances by making the right choices every single day. With a healthy diet, a hopeful mindset, and reliable support from Sheroes, we can help fight the battle against breast cancer together!
(1) Top diseases that kill women in PH (2019).
(2) How Your Diet May Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer (2018).
(3) Nutrition and Breast Cancer (2015).
(4) Does a Low-Fat Diet Reduce the Risk of Dying From Breast Cancer? (2019).
(5) Can Blueberries Cure Breast Cancer? Research Study Affirms (2016).
(6) Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention (2012).
(7) Low Vitamin D Levels (2020).
(8) Can Vitamin D Reduce Breast Cancer Risk? (2020)
(9) Vitamin D (2020).
(10) Green Tea (2013).
(11) Oolong tea extract may stave off breast cancer (2019).
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