An overall healthy diet and lifestyle is important to embrace for anyone who wishes to stay healthy into old age. Whether you are predisposed to certain types of cancers, are guilty of some of the habits and lifestyle factors that increase the risk of breast cancer, or are simply taking the right steps in keeping your body healthy, nutrition through food and drink plays a huge role. In light of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re sharing with you some of the best foods to eat for healthy breasts and an overall flourishing lifestyle.
After much research found that women in Asian countries who followed a so-called “Mediterranean diet” had far less incidences of breast cancer, many of the nutritional recommendations for women are now based off of this eating style. Asian cultures are known to eat less red meat and processed foods than in other countries like the United States. They also take in more of whole and healthy items like:
Cruciferous Vegetables- To see any health benefits from munching on vegetables, you will have to make them a major part of your diet. Taking in good amounts of cruciferous vegetables is said to improve overall health and lower your risk of breast cancer. Some of the best vegetables for breast health include broccoli, cauliflower and radishes. Another amazing super food when it comes to breast health and good nutrition is kale. Kale is a leafy green that is low in calories and incredibly high in nutritional benefits.
Apples- In addition to vegetables, eating a lot of fruit is also quite advantageous to breast and overall health. While all fruits keep your well-being in good condition, apples may be some of the best to consume for the cancer-fighting phytochemical found in the skin, called quercetin. This flavnoid is one of the best minerals to take to prevent breast cancer as well as other forms of cancer.
Green Tea- Loaded with very high amounts of antioxidants, green tea is one of the most beneficial drinks for your health. As one of the best known sources of natural anti-oxidants, green tea is especially helpful in the health of breasts because of the catechin compound EGCG found in it. This catechin (or polyphenol) has also been known to inhibit the growth of breast tumors.
Fish- Of course this is one of the most important staples in a Mediterranean diet, and is also linked to breast health. Oily, cold water fish is high in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids that are important for a healthy body. Fish such as trout, sardines, salmon and mackerel can help in the reduction of the risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D is very important for breast health as well, as incidences of breast cancer are much less when levels of vitamin D are higher.
Flaxseed- The whole flaxseed is known to be one of the healthiest grains to include in your diet. This is especially beneficial to breast health because just 2 tablespoons of flaxseed a day can help balance hormones within the body of women, aiding in the prevention of excess estrogen from being absorbed through the digestive tract. Women with higher estrogen levels have an increased risk for breast cancer, so flaxseed should certainly be added to one’s healthy diet. This seed also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for added nutritional benefits.
Olive Oil- Whether you use olive oil during cooking, or use it as a dressing for salad or veggies, it can be one of the best additions to your diet if you wish to improve breast health. Pure olive oil is the best, and it contains several antioxidants important for overall health. It has been directly associated with lower incidence of breast cancer, and is also a staple in the diet of Asian cultures where breast cancer is much less common.