Nutrients That Fight Breast Cancer

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women each year. It is also estimated that 39,840 of those cases will result in death within that same year.

While there is no guarantee that one won’t be diagnosed with this devastating disease, there are many precautions that women can take to lower their risk of developing it, such as staying active, breastfeeding and maintaining a healthy body weight. Another way women can fight break cancer is through what they choose to put into their bodies. By eating a healthy diet full of cancer-fighting nutrients, you can take a proactive approach to living cancer-free.

Omega 3′s – These fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body, improve blood flow, and aid in cognitive functioning. Omega 3′s are believed to lower the risk of developing breast cancer as they contain anti-cancer properties that may reduce the chances of breast cancer cells turning into tumors. They might also help prevent the migration of cancer cells and decrease metastatic activity. Foods that contain significant amounts of omega 3′s include fish like salmon and mackerel, as well as a variety of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts.

Folate – This B-complex vitamin plays an important role when it comes to rapid cell division and growth, as our bodies need folate to synthesize, repair, and methylate DNA. It is believed that this nutrient may aid in the fight against cancer as it helps to prevent changes and mutations in DNA which may lead to cancer. Leafy vegetables like spinach and asparagus contain high amounts of folate, as well as legumes like beans and peas. Moderates amounts of folate can also be found in fruits like bananas and strawberries.

Vitamin D – Everyone knows that this vitamin helps the human body to absorb calcium so that it can build strong bones and teeth. What they might not know is that it also helps reduce inflammation, adjust neuromuscular function, and influence the action of genes that regulate the production of cells. Because of this, it is believed to repress the growth of cancerous cells and fight against the development of breast cancer. Good sources of vitamin D include some types of fish, such as catfish and salmon, as well as foods commonly fortified with it like milk, yogurt, and cereals.

Antioxidants – It is believed that antioxidants protect cells from damage that can be caused by free radical molecules, which can damage cells and eventually lead to diseases. Antioxidants interact with free radicals and stabilize them, which prevents them from harming the body. It is believed that antioxidants can slow or prevent cancer from developing because of their neutralizing abilities. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.

Fiber – Fiber keeps the body’s digestive system running properly and also helps relieve constipation, maintain healthy body weight, and prevent certain diseases. It is believed that fiber can aid in the fight against breast cancer as it may reduce the amount of estrogen that is traveling throughout the body. As estrogen plays a role in stimulating breast cell division, it is possible that too much of this hormone may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Foods that contain high amounts of fiber include grain products, such as breads and cereals, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and Swiss chard.

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