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Healthy Foods & Spices to Prevent & Recover From Breast Cancer

October 19, 2019

We hear a lot about how eating healthier can help ward off cancer. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month it's time to focus on what kinds of healthy foods are helpful in preventing breast cancer. Remember, no diet or nutrition regimen will fully guarantee that someone won't get cancer. But there are several foods that provide general health benefits. The following foods and spices are recommended by the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization for the prevention of and recovery from breast cancer. These include:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables

    • Dark, green, leafy vegetables,

    • Fruits, especially berries and peaches.

  • Foods that are rich in fiber like whole grains, beans, and legumes

    • Pulses – dried seeds of legumes – the four common ones are beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas.

  • Soybean-based products

    • Edamame,

    • Meat alternatives,

    • Whole Soybeans,

    • Soy Sauces (Tamari, Shoyu, Teriyaki),

    • Soy Milk,

    • Soy Nuts,

    • Tempeh,

    • Textured Soy Protein,

    • Tofu.

  • Foods rich in Vitamin D and other vitamins

    • Cod Liver Oil,

    • Egg Yolks,

    • Herring,

    • Mushrooms,

    • Oysters,

    • Salmon,

    • Sardines,

    • Shrimp,

    • Tuna.

  • Foods, especially spices, that have anti-inflammatory properties

    • Cayenne,

    • Cinnamon,

    • Cloves,

    • Ginger,

    • Rosemary,

    • Sage,

    • Turmeric.

  • Foods that contain antioxidants

    • Artichokes,

    • Beans,

    • Beets,

    • Blueberries,

    • Red Cabbage,

    • Dark chocolate,

    • Goji Berries,

    • Kale,

    • Pecans,

    • Raspberries,

    • Spinach,

    • Strawberries.

  • High-fat Foods that are Super Healthy

    • Avocado,

    • Cheese,

    • Chia Seeds,

    • Dark Chocolate,

    • Coconuts and Coconut Oil,

    • Whole Eggs,

    • Fatty Fish – fish high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Herring, and Sardines,

    • Nuts,

    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil,

    • Full-fat Yogurt.

  • Lifestyle modifications to lower the risk of breast cancer:

    • ​Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Research suggests that you should keep it to one drink per week.

    • Don't smoke. Smoking, especially for premenopausal women, increases the risks for breast cancer.

    • Control and manage your weight. The risk for breast cancer increases in people who are overweight or obese and researchers say the risks increase after menopause.

    • Get physically active. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and up to 75 minutes of strength training in per week.

    • Changing what you eat will lower your risks for breast cancer. Limit fatty and processed foods, added sugars and lower the amounts of red meat you eat.

    • If possible, breast-feed your babies. Studies suggest that breast-feeding may protect women from getting breast cancer.

    • Limit the amount and the duration of hormone therapy. If you need hormone therapy for menopausal conditions, talk to your medical provider about all the options available.

    • Limit your exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Some research shows there is may be a correlation between breast cancer and a cumulative effect on high exposures of radiation. Only have computer tomography tests when absolutely necessary. 

    • Be aware of changes in breasts - look for changes in the skin or any lumps. 

    • Stay up to date on your mammograms. 

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