The World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that by 2020 the number of breast cancer cases will jump to an alarming figure and one in every eight women would run the risk of developing the disease in her lifetime.
Tina Sapra, senior clinical nutritionist & coordinator with Fortis Memorial Research Institute and Dr Vandana Mathur, consulting nutritionist, Metropolis Healthcare, Mumbai, give us an insight into the top foods that can prevent breast cancer risk in women.
You can get flax either as whole seed, ground or Flaxseed oil. The omega-3s, lignans and fibre found in flaxseed are found to form a protective shield against cancer cells responsible for breast cancer. You can add flaxseeds to smoothies or flaxseed oil to salad dressings too or integrate them into baked goods, such as cookies or muffins.
Uniquely rich in selenium, fibre, and phytochemicals, Brazil nuts can help fight inflammation, improve the immune system and prevent tumour growth. And you do not need many of them—a palmful can do the trick. Enjoy them as any other nut either with fruits or asparagus (contains the anti-cancer component, chlorophyll).
Rich source of cancer-fighting compound called allium, Garlic and its relatives (onion, leeks, scallions, and chives) are shown to slow tumour growth and prevent breast cancer risk among other forms of cancer such as colorectal and prostate cancers. Crush or swallow a piece of garlic every morning and that’s all it takes to live a cancer-free life!
This is highly recommended for preventing breast cancer. It contains polyphenol- an ellagic acid with anti-oxidant properties that prevent cancer growth. Include this delicious fruit in your diet and discover effective health benefits.
Dark-green leafy vegetables
From kale, collards to spinach and Swiss chard, dark-green leafy vegetables probably are considered a “one stop shop” for all the best nutrients your body needs to fend off cancerous cells, i.e. fibre, vitamin B, phytochemicals, chlorophyll and more. It’s time to add some greens to your diet.
A great source of omega-3s and vitamins B12 and D, salmon can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to regulate cell growth and prevent cancer. In fact, certain types of Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) are proven effective in cancer treatment.
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
As a cruciferous (belonging to the plant family Cruciferae) vegetable along with cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale; broccoli is rich in sulforophane and indoles, which are shown to regulate cell growth in multiple ways and help fight a range of cancers, including breast, bladder, lymphoma, prostate and lung cancer.
Consumption on a regular basis has been linked to lower incidence of breast cancer. The phyto-chemicals in green tea can well take the credit for its health benefits. One to two cups of green tea daily can help you keep cancer at bay.
Pick a pepper, any pepper! Most have some phytochemical or nutrient that will help fight cancer. Chilli and jalapeno peppers have capsaicin (an active component of chilli peppers) that fight the growth rate of cancer cells. Green peppers are rich in chlorophyll which can bind cancer-causing carcinogens found in the gut. Red peppers have both capsaicin and antioxidant carotenoids.
A spice commonly found in our country cancer-fighting compound called curcumin can inhibit many types of cancer cells, including breast, gastrointestinal, lung, and skin cancer. A pinch of turmeric fights toughest of cancer-causing cells.
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