Food For Thought

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Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer Through Plant-Based Foods

Coach Melanie, 06/16/2015

Breast cancer is a complex disease with many contributing factors. But even those with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer can reduce their risk of developing it through wise dietary decisions.

A study on the effects of flax seed in breast cancer patients stated that a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial found that flax seeds appeared to reduce tumor growth in just a matter of weeks. Scientists believe this is due to a class of phytonutrients, known as lignans, that are present in flax seeds -- up to 800 times more than in other plant foods.

Plant-based foods contain a huge quantity and variety of phytochemicals and micronutrients. Cruciferous vegetables like arugula, broccoli, and kale have some of the highest levels of these micronutrients. When the cell walls of these vegetables are broken by blending or chopping, a chemical reaction occurs that converts sulfur-containing compounds into isothiocyanates (ITCs), which have proven anticancer and immune-boosting effects. ITCs can inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which a tumor promotes blood vessel growth to feed its multiplying and growing cancer cells with nourishment.

Mushrooms are another cancer-protective food. Dr. Gregor, M.D., points out that the phytochemicals in white button mushrooms inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer proliferation. Aromatase inhibitors help the body reduce the level of estrogen from stimulating breast tissue. This is important because estrogen plays a role in the development of breast cancer. Dr. Gregor suggests that a daily intake of the common white button mushroom may have a significant chemoprotective effect in regards to breast cancer.

Vitamin D, traditionally absorbed through sunlight but also present in certain mushrooms, plays an important role in breast cancer prevention. Because many women with breast cancer are Vitamin D deficient, it is recommended that women have their vitamin D levels tested annually.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from cancer is through prevention. While treatment for cancer is often focused on in the media, taking steps to prevent cancer can have a huge impact on your health. Eating right and taking care of your body is easier in the long run than trying to cure cancer. It is an ugly disease, and, having lost several loved ones to it, this message comes with love and the hope that you will treat your body well.




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