Breast cancer is the most common in women and also the most invasive. It is estimated that it affects 1 in 8 women in the United States at some stage of their life, according to data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020, 2.2 million cases were reported. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women. In 2020, around 685,000 women died from this type of cancer. Among the possible causes are DNA damage and genetic mutationsIn other words, inheriting certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can also increase the risk. However, lifestyle also plays a fundamental role, there is research in which it is linked to excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, exposure to estrogen, family history, aging, obesity, reproductive history and certain dietary patterns. As is the particular case modern western diets, which are characterized by a high consumption of ultra-processed foods and fast foods.
In addition, there are studies that recommend certain eating patterns with a reduced risk of breast cancer, as is the case with the Mediterranean diet. Based on this, there are specific foods that are a great ally to protect women from suffering from this type of cancer, which in advanced stages is usually very aggressive.
1. Green leafy vegetables
It is no secret to say that green leafy vegetables are renowned for their anticancer properties. Alternatives such as spinach, kale, chard, arugula and lettuce, are characterized by their content of carotenoid antioxidants, which include beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. It is well known that people with higher blood levels of these carotenoids have a reduced risk of breast cancer. There are interesting references in this regard, such is the case of an analysis of 8 studies carried out in more than 7,000 people which found that women with higher levels of carotenoids have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer, compared to women. women with lower levels. Another much larger study, conducted in 32,000 women, linked higher levels of total carotenoids in the blood with a reduction in 18 to 28% risk of breast cancer, as well as a reduction in the risk of recurrence and death in women with current breast cancer. There is also research showing the benefits of folic acid (a type of B vitamin) in green leafy vegetables in protecting against breast cancer.
2. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are simply one of the healthiest groups of all time. Is it so packed with compounds that can protect against breast cancer, including folate, vitamin C, and carotenoids like beta cryptoxanthin and beta carotene, plus antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin, hesperetin, and naringenin. These are nutrients that provide antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects. The best of all is that we have on hand wonderful variants that fill the daily diet with versatility: oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, limes and lemons. In fact, there is valuable research that links citrus consumption to a reduced risk of many types of cancer (including breast cancer). According to a review of 6 studies in more than 8,000 people: a high intake of citrus translates into a 10% reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
3. Fatty fish
One of the most recurrent dietary recommendations in recent times is to increase the consumption of fatty fish. It’s no secret to talk about its impressive health benefits. Its magnificent content of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and antioxidants such as canthaxanthin that offer protective effects against cancer. Specifically, there are studies that prove the benefits of eating fatty fish to reduce the risk of breast cancer: a large analysis of 26 studies in 883,000 people found that those people with a higher intake of seafood sources and fish rich in omega-3s had up to a 14% lower risk of breast cancer. These types of proteins of high biological value are light, low in calories and shine for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Berries and red fruits belong to the list of the healthiest superfoods on the planet. They shine for their density in nutrients, specifically antioxidants that give them a special power to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer. The antioxidants in berries, including flavonoids and anthocyanins, have been shown to They protect against cell damage, as well as the development and spread of cancer cells. A study carried out with the participation of 75,929 women is striking, in which a higher intake of berries, and blueberries in particular, was associated with a lower risk of estrogen receptor negative (ER−) breast cancer.
Berries / Photo: Pexels
5. Fermented food
Fermented foods are considered a powerful ally for digestive, intestinal and, of course, immune system health. Alternatives such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut, stand out for their high in probiotics and other nutrients that can protect against breast cancer. There are studies in which it is especially recommended to integrate the consumption of yogurt and kefir into the female diet: according to a review of 27 studies, these fermented dairy products were linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer in Western and Asian populations . Although studies remain to be carried out, it is believed that this protective anticancer effect is related to the immune-enhancing effects of certain probiotics.
Beans are worthy representatives of the legume family, which ranks as one of the healthiest and most beneficial food groups. In particular, beans are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Specifically, its high fiber content may protect against breast cancer. In fact, there is a study that was carried out with the support of 2,571 women and in which it was found that high intake of beans reduced the risk of breast cancer by up to 20%, compared to low bean intake. In addition, it is a food of great nutritional power that benefits many other aspects of health, they are accessible, versatile and incredibly satisfying.
7. Herbs and spices
We cannot leave without talking about the immense healing potential of herbs and spices, not in vain are they legendary and ancient elements of traditional medicine. Herbs and spices such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, turmeric, curry, and ginger contain plant compounds that are associated with a great protective power against breast cancer. Among the main ones are vitamins, fatty acids and polyphenol antioxidants. More specifically, we can say that oregano has the antioxidants carvacrol and rosmarinic acid, which according to studies are substances with great anticancer potential against aggressive breast cancer cell lines. Another great example is turmeric root, which contains a powerful active compound called curcumin, which shines for its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Like apigenin, a flavonoid concentrated in parsley. They also provide an incredible touch of flavor and color in all kinds of dishes and drinks.
Turmeric. / Photo: Pexels
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.