9 Foods That May Ward Off Breast Cancer
The sad statistic remains: one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. ONE in EIGHT. If you’re like me, the faces of eight close female friends just quickly flashed through your mind — and perhaps one of them has already battled the disease.
So what can women do to reduce breast cancer risk? While I wont dare claim that diet alone can impact one’s chances of developing or dodging this devastating disease — after all, we know that genetics, exposure to certain chemicals and other lifestyle choices play major roles — I will point to a few hopeful studies that indicate the nutrient compounds in certain foods have the power to prevent the development of and/or spread of breast cancer cells.
In a particularly fascinating study, researchers tested mice with an abnormally high genetic predisposition for developing breast cancer and found that mice fed walnuts daily were 50% less likely to develop the disease. Click here for the study details — quite impressive!
A promising study out of Texas A&M University revealed a compound in mangos may help prevent a malignancy that is one of the top causes of cancer fatalities among women. The findings showed mangoes reduced the proliferation of cancerous breast cells by 90 percent and the proliferation of noncancerous breast cells by 20 percent. And as an added bonus, inflammation in both cancerous and non cancerous cells was reduced as well.
3, 4, 5 & 6. Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Dark Leafy Greens & Tomatoes
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that women with higher circulating levels of the carotenoids α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin and lycopene may be at reduced risk for developing breast cancer. While most look to carrots and sweet potatoes for a carotenoid boost, many are surprised to learn that dark leafy greens are an excellent source of this these pigment antioxidants. And for a lift in circulating lycopene, look no further than the tomato, with tomato paste offering up the greatest concentrations.
A study Molecular Cancer revealed that a unique compound in mangosteen — a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia — can promote kill off breast cancer cells, preventing their spread. This news came with surprise, however, as earlier investigations revealed mangosteen can stop the proliferation of malignant cells in a lab dish and even shrink the cancerous breast tumors of mice.
Interestingly, the process focused on fatty acid synthesis (FAS), which is known to be over expressed in human breast cancer cells. But as it turns out, the xanthone compounds in mangosteen effectively curb this over-expression. You can check out the study methods and details in this article.
8 & 9. Salmon & Flaxseed
Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Temple University Health System found that omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as salmon effectively slowed or stopped cancerous cell growth in triple-negative breast cancer cells more effectively than cells from other types of the disease. You can read more on their findings here, but vegetarians fear not. Similar results were found when researchers tested the omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds. In this study, researchers compared the flax consumption of 2,999 women diagnosed with breast cancer with that of 3,370 healthy women. They found that regularly eating flaxseeds or flaxseed bread was linked to an 18 or 23 percent reduction in the risk of this disease.