In Australia, Breast Cancer is the most common form of Cancer diagnosed in women. And it's the second mostly deadly, only behind lung cancer according to the Australian Cancer Council.
Fear, mis-diagnosis and unnecessary intervention are all contributing factors as well as poor dietary and lifestyle habits.
This blog is about the whole foods from nature's table that are specifically designed to target and protect breast health. There is growing impressive research with regard to ow certain whole foods can assist in the prevention and healing of breast cancer.
Here are our top ten whole foods to support breast health that are easily accessible and affordable, some of which you may even already be including in your diet.
1. Raw Nuts and Seeds
Nuts contain healthy oils and nutrients that support breast health because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly bioavailable in raw nuts such as walnuts, macadamias, flax and pumpkin and research suggests that women with higher tissue levels of omega-3’s have lower rates of breast cancer.
Get your omegas from nuts, not fish oil, as there are toxicities in these supplement products that should be avoided as they can compound health problems.
Pulse Sacred Meal is also packed with omega 3's due to the variety of raw nuts and seeds included in the ingredients.
There’s a reason avocados always make the list of superfoods. While they taste delicious, they’re incredibly beneficial for your health and for helping to prevent breast cancer.
They’re a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid, which has recently been shown to offer remarkable protection against breast cancer.
On the phytochemical front, avocados contain glutathione. Glutathione is known for its ability to strengthen the immune system and remove cancers.
Use avocados every day, as a spread, a dip, on their own, sliced up into salads, sandwiches, and pasta.
Learn more in 7 Good Reasons Avocados are Considered “Super Food”.
Beets are an incredibly healthy whole food that can also help prevent breast cancer.
A high daily intake of folate actually lowers breast cancer risk and beets are particularly high in folate.
Avoid spirits and distilled alcohol as research says that this interferes with the transport and metabolism of folate, which impairs it from reaching your body’s tissues. If you drink spirits or cocktails regularly, make sure to up your consumption of beets to help counteract the alcohol. Far better to choose preservative-free, no-additive, naturally fermented wines and beers when you enjoy a drink.
Learn more in 5 Incredible Health Benefits of Beets.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are a signature pattern of the mammary structure of the female breast. If you slice any citrus fruit across the middle, it looks just like the anatomical design of the breast, which is no accident!
Citrus fruits are provided by mother nature to support breast health. They're also known for their nutritional powers in protecting the body from a host of inflammatory conditions, such as colds and flu, due to their vitamin C content.
Deep inside the white rind and membranes of these fruits is a group of plant compounds that includes bioflavonoids, citric acids and pectins that can help prevent breast cancer. To benefit from these compounds, make sure you dig deep into the rind when juicing citrus.
Grapefruit in particular will help you: thanks to its significant stores of the bioflavonoid naringenin, grapefruit helps stop the spread of breast cancer cells and prevents the metastasis of melanoma.
Whole oranges and tangerines are also great citrus fruits to help reduce your risk of breast cancer. They contain compounds called limonoids that are found in the peel and white membrane of the fruits.
Of all the citrus fruits, lemons require special mention because they're nature's most potent detoxifier.
Limonene, is the volatile oil responsible for the distinctive lemon aroma, which helps treat some forms of cancer, especially breast cancer.
There are so many ways to enjoy lemons, like including them in your fresh juice recipes, in salad dressings, deserts and preparing a digestive elixir first thing in the morning (stir the juice of a fresh whole lemon into a glass of chilled water and a pinch of salt and drink).
- You can also add a squeeze of lemon to your water bottle and herbal teas. Lemon essential oil is also particularly useful and versatile as a replacement for fresh lemon juice when you don't have them handy. Pure lemon essential oil is one of just a handful of oils that is an absolute must as part of your regular self care routine.
6. Yellow and Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Eating foods high in beta-carotene has been linked in many studies to lower rates of breast cancer.
Yellow and orange vegetables are among the best sources of beta-carotene, so fill up on:
- Sweet Potatoes
And like avocados, one-seeded yellow and orange fruits particularly target women's health:
7. Cruciferous Vegetables
These crunchy vegetables aren’t just a welcome boost of fibre, they're among the most potent cancer-preventative foods available in nature.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, rutabaga, turnips and turnip greens all contain indole-3-carbinol, which lowers women’s levels of a type of estrogen that promotes breast cancer. If you’re looking for foods to eat to support breast health, be sure to cook with these cancer-preventative foods.
Tomatoes are a great source of a compound called lycopene, which has been linked to lower rates of breast and prostate cancer.
Eat plenty of tomatoes in every form, including raw, cooked, dried, in soups, juices, sauces to get your fill in a variety of delicious ways.
9. Whole Grains
Avoid refined grains as much as possible and choose whole grains instead. Studies have shown that women who ate more refined grains had more breast cancer.
Another study showed women who ate one serving a day of a cereal high in wheat bran lowered their level of breast cancer-promoting estrogen. These days it’s easy to replace your favourite foods with whole grain versions - be sure to look for whole unrefined versions when it comes to staples like breads, pasta, cereals and grains.
Learn more in Top Cancer-Fighting Foods & Lifestyle Practices.
More Tips to Help Prevent Breast Cancer:
1. Eat a high-fibre diet: fibre speeds food through your digestive system, breaks up and removes old toxic waste and eliminates infectious or parasitic feeding and breeding grounds, the source of much disease.
As well, studies indicate that the substances in plants, phytoestrogens, are able to prevent the estrogens circulating in your body from causing breast cancer. Good sources of phytoestrogens include alfalfa sprouts, apples and soy products and are believed to block cancer-causing substances produced by the body's normal metabolic process.
2. Move to a plant-based diet: many illnesses can be attributed to high fat, animal diets with high salt and low fibre. The risk of breast cancer is nearly four times as high for women who eat meat daily as it is for those who eat is less than once a week.
3. Stay hydrated: dehydration can lead to a bodily environment that causes cancer, because the body does not have the fluid it needs to metabolise DNA errors in cellular division. Dehydration in women can cause stress, which leads to the body raising the levels of prolactin that have been known to stimulate breast cancer. Drink at least 2 litres of pure water per day, more if you're active or suffer from fatigue or health challenges. Remember water not only keeps your cells hydrated but also helps to flush toxins from your body and keep you regular.
4. Get plenty of sunshine: the evidence is becoming quite compelling that sun exposure, which helps our bodies make vitamin D, will help lower the risk of many cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. Women who limit their exposure to sunshine will have lower vitamin D levels and an increased risk of breast cancer, among other health concerns. Light exposure of your skin, including breasts, to sunshine for short, frequent periods of time will ensure you receive adequate Vitamin D to help lower cancer risk.
Learn more in Why Sunshine Strengthens Your Immune System.
Additional whole foods that help prevent breast cancer:
- Concord grapes
- Sundried raisins
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Non-GMO Organic Soy Products: Milk, Tempeh, Tofu, Miso etc.
Eating to protect your health is easier than ever, and these whole foods can help reduce your risk of breast cancer and improve your day-to-day life in so many ways.
Choose a handful of these foods and make them weekly staples, then switch things up as the foods are naturally in season and from time to time to ensure you're obtaining the broadest spectrum of nutrients.
Whether you’re particularly at risk for breast cancer or have survived breast cancer before, these foods should be eaten regularly to boost your immune system, fight free-radicals and avoid further recurrence or future dis-ease.
Tolman Self Care.