Breast Cancer Awareness Month isn’t until October – but, there are plenty of other reasons to recognize the second most common form of cancer in American women – after skin cancers.
Mother’s Day is coming up, and, May also features National Women’s Health Week.
Appreciating that breast cancer can be a disease where women with a first-degree relative, such as mother, sister and daughter, have an increased risk, it’s a good month to start conversations about breast cancer prevention, treatment and screening.
So, to get the conversation going early, let’s start with a list of 4 breast cancer fighting foods to eat that can help reduce your risk and prevent breast cancer.
Those yams aren’t just tasty and colorful – they also contain carotenoids, substances that build up your cells’ natural cancer defenses. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) found that women who eat carotenoid-rich diets have a lower risk of contracting breast cancer – so yam it up. And, sweet potatoes aren’t the only source for carotenoids, you can also get your quota from other bright orange veggies like carrots and squash, as well as dark leafy greens.
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are those “good fats” you’ve heard so much about. What makes them so good? Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of a breast cancer diagnosis by up to 14%. The American Heart Association recommends you eat 3.5 ounces of wild-caught, fatty fish twice a week, for maximum health benefits. If salmon’s not your bag, you can get your weekly dose of omega-3s from anchovies, mackerel, black cod or sardines.
Fresh-brewed green tea (not the bottled version) is a great source of polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps guard against breast cancer. An NCI study found that drinking one cup of green tea a day helps reduce urinary estrogen, a known breast cancer cause.
Selenium isn’t a food, it’s a trace mineral – and it may help protect you from breast cancer by regulating your body’s estrogen receptor production. Keep in mind that too much selenium in your body can be toxic. To help, here’s a quick list of selenium-rich foods to help you get the recommended daily dose of 55 micrograms.
What foods do you eat to help prevent cancer? Do you know of more breast cancer fighting foods? Please, share your tips in the comments below!
P.S. Let’s not forget it’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month too. Click here to read up on some of the facts, stats and prevention tips for skin cancer.