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Top 10 Breast Cancer Fighting Foods

Posted By Dr. Gary Huber : Head Medical Ego On October 27, 2011 @ 5:22 am In All Articles,Featured,Food & Nutrition,Health & Wellness | No Comments

Lifestyle and nutrition habits play a significant role in your risk for cancer. Studies have shown that nutritional influences can greatly reduce breast cancer risk. The following list includes important foods that could improve the health of anyone but in particular are singled out as important adjuncts in reducing your risk for breast cancer.

 

Cruciferous vegetables

These mighty titans of health offer tremendous benefit in the prevention of not only breast cancer but all cancers. Here is a list of the cruciferous vegetables:

  • Broccoli                    
  • Brussel sprouts         
  • Cabbage                 
  • Bok choy      
  • Mustard greens       
  • Collard greens        
  • Kale                           
  • Horseradish
  • Cauliflower              
  • Turnip greens                       
  • Watercress               
  • Radish           
  • Rutabaga     

These vegetables all contain a compound called sulforaphane which has been extensively studied atJohnHopkinsUniversityand been shown to enhance the production of innate proteins that suppress tumor growth. It has been shown in animal studies to inhibit cancer growth and have a negative impact on breast cancer stem cells.

A second compound called diindolylmethane assists the liver in the proper removal of used estrogens thus reducing the potential that these estrogens become carcinogens. It does this by enhancing a pathway that turns the estrogens into safe metabolites as opposed to 4-hydroxy quinones which can stimulate cancer growth. Learn to love these vegetables and include them in your daily diet.

Flaxseed

Good old fashion flax seeds contain lignans that bind estrogen in the bowel and safely remove it from the body. I am not talking about flax seed oil which is very unstable, oxidizes easily and may contain an unhealthy amount of free radicals. Stick with whole seeds that have been ground up or preferably you can grind them yourself in a simple coffee mill just before using. I recommend 1 to 2 tablespoons daily either mixed into your smoothie or simply added to a salad or other dish.

Flaxseeds have the highest concentration of lignans over any other food source. The lignans get converted by bowel bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which act to bind the estrogen receptor and block potent estrogens from over stimulating them. They also possess anti-oxidant activity

Green tea 

Studies of green tea drinkers showed that they enjoyed a significant reduction in risk of breast cancer while black tea drinkers did not. The active ingredient in green tea that creates this effect is called catechins, a type of polyphenol. These valuable catechins are lost when green tea is fermented to make black tea

In patients diagnosed with breast cancer, the consumption of green tea catechins is associated with an improved prognosis, and a decrease in lymph node metastasis. The risk of breast cancer recurrence is also reduced in those consuming green tea.

 To simply drink green tea made from leaves dipped in hot water will net a mere 0.66 mg of catechins. A green tea leaf that has been turned into powder and mixed with hot water will net 100 times the catechin content or roughly 65 mg.

Turmeric (curcumin)

Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice that has been used for centuries.  Curcumin is the principle flavonoid in turmeric that offers such powerful health benefits.

There exists in cells a cell-signaling mechanism called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) that can transform normal cells into cancer cells. This mechanism is strongly inhibited by curcumin. Curcumin possesses many mechanisms to inhibit growth and actually kill cancer cells. It even helps make chemotherapy to treat cancer more effective by preventing what is called “multi-drug resistance”. It prevents the cancer from becoming resistant to chemotherapy effects. Curcumin has no harmful effects and is safe yet it has been shown in one animal study to limit the effectiveness of cyclophosphamide (a chemotherapy agent). Curcumin is also a potent inhibitor of a cancer promoting compound called NFkB that can increase the risk for metastasis. So on many levels we have seen curcumin play a key role in cancer prevention as well as an active agent to effect cancers ability to grow.

Berries

Berries of all sorts, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants that help to reduce cancer risk in general. Berries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been shown in cell cultures and animal studies to slow the growth of some tumors. It has been shown to inhibit the binding of carcinogens toDNA.

Fermented soy

For decades we have seen numerous studies reporting the reduced cancer rates in eastern cultures and the conclusion that it is their consumption of soy that has contributed to this effect. You can find varied opinions regarding this effect but the overwhelming evidence remains that the consumption of whole soy products and more importantly fermented soy products does in fact reduce risk of breast cancer. I strongly encourage you to consume only “organic” soy as most of the worlds soy crops have been contaminated with genetically modified soy products.

Soy contains isoflavones, genistein and diadzein, that have the ability to reduce estrogen stimulation in the body by blocking excessive estrogen stimulation. This topic will remain controversial for many but I have never seenONEarticle demonstrating that fermented soy consumption did anything other than benefit breast health.

Salmon – Fish – Omega 3 fats

Omega 3 fats are essential for good health. American tend to over eat omega 6 fats such as corn oil, safflower and sunflower oil as these are staples in the production of processed foods. Omega 6 over consumption leads to inflammation whereas an appropriate intake of omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory. Studies have demonstrated that women who consume daily omega 3 fats reduced their risk for breast cancer.

Garlic

Several population studies have demonstrated a reduced risk of cancer in people who have an increased intake of garlic including reductions in breast cancer, bowel cancers and pancreatic cancer. Protective effects from garlic may include: antibacterial properties; ability to block the formation and halt the activation of cancer-causing substances; aid detoxification; ability to enhanceDNArepair; and garlic’s ability to reduce cell proliferation and thus inducing cell death. Animal studies have demonstrated a reduction in breast tumors when fed garlic. Garlic has many benefits including lower cholesterol levels and improved bowel health which improves immune function.

Fiber – High Fiber Foods

The highest fiber foods on the planet are beans such as a black, white, red, kidney and garbanzo beans. In second place come vegetables of all sorts. This is where we should be getting our fiber from as fiber plays a valuable role in removing excess estrogen from the body and in keeping the good bacteria in our bowel healthy. Fiber is fuel for the good bacteria in our intestines, which function as a detox mechanism. The detoxification and removal of estrogen is a key part of healthy hormone balance that reduces risk for breast cancer.

Organic meats

OK, so this is not truly a food that “fights” cancer but eating ORGANIC meat is such an important agenda that I couldn’t let it go. Hormone, steroid, and antibiotic infested meats are so problematic that I had to mention them in this list. The hormones used in the beef industry by non-organic operations have serious estrogenic and carcinogenic effects. Eating organic meat has a clear advantage over contaminated versions and is money well spent is protecting your overall health as well as reducing cancer risk.


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