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Most women are very concerned about breast cancer. Most people know that October is traditionally "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," as well. What they may not know, however, is that recent scientific findings can give them the information necessary to avoid breast cancer entirely, rather than to just be aware of it. Below we have summarized some of these scientific findings specifically related to nutrition and breast cancer, as well as what you can do to avoid this deadly disease:
· Eat a diet rich in greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds- these all contain natural anti-cancer compounds. A vegetable-based diet rich in mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables and flax and chia seeds that contain phytochemicals with anti-estrogenic properties can help to fight Breast Cancer in particular.
· Stay slim- Obesity is a highly significant risk factor for Breast Cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates that 17% of breast cancers are due to excess weight alone, and women who are obese when diagnosed are more at risk to die from breast cancer.
· Avoid junk food- like fast foods and refined foods such as white flour and sugary sweets. High-glycemic foods Frequent cause high insulin levels are thought to promote growth and division of cancerous cells, and so also women with Diabetes are 20% more likely to develop Breast Cancer.
· Do not take synthetic folic acid in supplements and vitamin-fortified refined foods. Synthetic folic acid is in fact associated with increased risk of Breast cancer. Natural food folates are chemically different from synthetic folic acid, and are instead associated with decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
· Minimize your family’s exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)- Synthetic chemicals that mimic, inhibit or alter the action of the body’s natural hormones. It's easy to come into contact with them daily in the form of plastics, organochlorine pesticides, cosmetics, fuels, and other chemicals. It is thought that EDC exposure contributes to risk of hormone-associated cancers. They are especially problematic when exposure occurs pregnancy, childhood or puberty.
· Do not eat mass factory-farmed meats or dairy and minimize animal foods in general- These foods come from animals that are regularly given antibiotics and growth-promoting hormones, and environmental pollutants also build up in their fatty tissues. All animal protein (especially dairy) elevates blood levels of IGF-1, a hormone that has been associated with increased risk of several cancers, including Breast Cancer, according to many recently published studies.