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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Awareness is the only way forward towards prevention and cure. It is important to have a healthy diet for cancer patients and here’s what all you need to include in what you eat.
To find out more about the right diet for breast cancer patients, Health Shots reached out to Anam Golandaz, a clinical dietitian who told us, “No single food or diet can prevent or cause breast cancer. But a person’s dietary choices can make a difference to their risk of developing breast cancer or their overall well-being while living with the condition.”
She further added, “A person can control other factors, such as smoking, physical activity levels, body weight, and diet. Some researchers have suggested that dietary factors could be responsible for 30–40 percent of all cancers.”
Research suggests that these foods may lower your risk of cancer and inhibit cancer growth and progression:
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, mustard greens and collard greens are some of the many dark leafy greens that can fight breast cancer. “They are loaded with antioxidants that can destroy cancer causing free radicals. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers found that women who ate dark leafy greens had a far lower breast cancer risk than women who didn’t eat these vegetables,” says Golandaz.
According to the nutrition expert, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli contain phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates and indoles which appear to have a protective effect against some types of cancer including breast cancer. It also inhibits cancer growth and progression.
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, are known for their effective health benefits. Golandaz says, “Their omega-3 fatty acid, selenium, and antioxidants contents may offer cancer-protective effects.”
Beans are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Specifically, their high fiber content may help in managing weight for breast cancer survivors, which is very challenging to do for them. “Breast cancer patients can include kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and chick peas in their daily diet,” Golandaz suggests.
Garlic, onions, and leeks come under allium vegetables that boast an array of nutrients, including organosulfur compounds, flavonoid and antioxidants. “Consumption of allium vegetables can help against the development of breast cancer. S-allylcysteine, a compound found in onions, has been suggested to suppress cell proliferation, adhesion and invasion in breast-cancer cells. Allicin, a component of garlic, has the ability to inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cell lines,” says Golandaz.
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