Breast Cancer

Superfoods That Fight Breast Cancer

Breast cancer occurs when a malignant tumor that appears in the cells of the breast but can metastasize to other parts of the body—it’s scary. Women age 40 and over and people with a family history of breast cancer are most likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

However, there are ways to prevent a breast cancer diagnosis. You can avoid smoking cigarettes, you can exercise on a regular basis, and you can eat nutritious, healthy food. But what foods are most likely to prevent breast cancer? Let’s explore that further…

1. Mushrooms

Recent studies have shown that eating mushrooms can actually reduce the chance of a premenopausal woman being diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s because mushrooms ­(i.e., cremini, oyster, shiitake, and other types) contain the antioxidant known as L-ergothioneine, which has been shown to ward off cancer.

Mushrooms make an excellent addition to many delicious dishes, from pizza to scrambled eggs, stir fries, and hamburgers. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly before adding them to your favorite meal.

2. Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts resemble bean sprouts, but they’re much thinner and more delicate. Not only that, they’re also high in cancer-fighting compounds, like glucoraphanin. Many experts consider broccoli sprouts to be an exceptional source of detoxifying enzymes that protect our cells against cancer.

In taste, broccoli sprouts resemble broccoli (no surprise there), but in texture they’re actually very similar to lettuce. That makes them an excellent addition to salads and sandwiches. And, unlike lettuce, they can also blend in seamlessly with your favorite pasta dish.

3. Pomegranate Seeds

For some time we’ve known that pomegranate seeds contain high amounts of cancer-fighting antioxidants. The crunchy little seeds, which are also called arils, are high in ellagic acid, a particularly effective antioxidant that can prevent the development of breast cancer. Not only that, pomegranate seeds can help keep our hearts healthy.

Pomegranate seeds can be added to salads, cereals, smoothies, and many other dishes. Just be aware that they contain lots of natural sugar, so try having only half a fruit each day.

4. Lentils

Recent studies link lentils and other legumes (i.e., beans) to dramatically lowering a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Lentils, like their legume cousins, contain lots of folate, fiber, and many other nutrients that can keep our bodies functioning effectively.

Lentils have often been added to soups and stews, but when ground up, lentils can also be shaped into vegan hamburgers. Lentils are very dense, so they’re excellent for replacing ground meat in pasta sauces and Mexican dishes.

5. Walnuts

Walnuts are high in several compounds shown to keep us feeling fit and healthy, including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols—all of which may help prevent or slow the development of cancerous cells.

Walnuts make an excellent addition to any salad, but are best known for their contributions to baked goods. From brownies to carrot cake and muffins walnuts work well. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try having a few plain walnuts, which can help the body power down at the end of a long day.

6. Blueberries

Few foods contain as many cancer-fighting antioxidants as blueberries. Research from WebMD has shown that blueberries can reduce the development of cancerous tumors by forcing cancerous cells to deteriorate through a process known as apoptosis.

Blueberries can be hard to keep fresh, so try buying the frozen kind—they pack just as many antioxidants. In any case, blueberries make excellent additions to any smoothie, cereal, yogurt, or pancake mix.

7. Spinach

Many of us have vivid memories of being forced to eat spinach by our parents. Mom and dad had good reason for getting us to eat this particular green. It’s very high in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, and folate, all of which are linked to reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Spinach is also high in vitamin B, which plays an important part in cell development and keeps our cells from being attacked by cancer. Spinach is highly versatile, meaning it can be added to pasta, casseroles, quiches, omelets, and even smoothies.

8. Eggs

There are few more popular breakfast foods than eggs and no wonder why—they contain plenty of protein and enough fat to keep us going throughout the morning. But eggs also contain an essential nutrient known as choline, which has been shown to drastically reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

Most of us know that eggs are a highly versatile food. But it’s important to remember that it’s the egg’s yolk that contains choline, so avoid removing the yolks when making scrambled eggs or frittatas. In any case, it’s recommended women get 425-milligrams of choline each day, with about one-quarter of that amount available in one large egg.

9. Salmon

Salmon is already considered a super food on account of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to drastically reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. But did you know that salmon also contains high levels of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” which can reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by roughly one-quarter.

Salmon is an extremely multipurpose fish. It can be pan-fried, baked, or grilled on the barbeque using a cedar plank. Once cooked, it can be easily added to sandwiches and salads or substituted for beef in burgers and meatloaf.

10. Rye Bread

Many health experts warn us about consuming too many carbohydrates, such as breads, cereals, etc. But whole-grain rye bread—which fuses fibre, vitamins, minerals, and a phytonutrient known as phytic acid—is very healthy and a demonstrated cancer fighter. The key is to get rye bread that uses rye flour rather than wheat flour.

The slightly sour tasting rye bread is excellent for sandwiches. Try it with poached eggs and avocados in a breakfast meal that will keep you fuelled throughout the morning.