Your Guide to Healthy Breasts: What Those Lumps, Bumps, and Weird Conditions Really Mean
Lifestyle Changes to Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk in Half
With your fit lifestyle, you're already well on your way to keeping the Big C at bay. These four simple steps will slash your risk by a whopping 50 percent, according to a recent study.
- Get 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
- Eat right. Read about the foods you need to eat to protect against breast cancer below.
- Don't smoke.
- Don't drink alcohol. (If you do imbibe, limit yourself to one drink a day, the American Cancer Society recommends.)
Source: Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & PreventionWhat to Eat to Beat Breast Cancer
Eating to beat breast cancer is easy. Fill two-thirds of your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. "These foods contain nutrients and phytochemicals, which help our bodies fight cancer by, for example, blocking the growth of tumors or repairing DNA that has been damaged," says Sally Scroggs, RD, senior health education specialist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Research shows the following six foods may have a particularly potent protective effect against the disease.
Leafy green vegetables
Spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard contain high levels of certain carotenoids, antioxidant-like substances that wipe out harmful free radicals before they can damage healthy cells.
Strawberries and raspberries are rich sources of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that helps short-circuit cancer cells' ability to multiply.
Compounds in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale may help regulate enzymes in your body that defend against cells that could become cancerous.
Women who ate a third of an ounce of mushrooms daily were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, one study found. The fungi appear to act like aromatase inhibitor meds, which block the body's production of the cancer-feeding hormone estrogen.
Brown rice, bulgur, and buckwheat contain lignans, substances that reduce breast cancer risk by as much as 14 percent.
This herb is packed with apigenin, a compound that appears to block the formation of blood vessels to cancerous mammary cells in animals.
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