The beginning of October means different things to different people. For some it’s the start of a new season, for others it’s just another time of the year; but for me, it marks the onset of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Now I’ve never been touched by breast cancer personally, but I know it has taken many mothers, daughters and sisters…so any month that is dedicated to bringing awareness to this disease pays homage to all those who’ve lost their battle with breast cancer. If one woman’s life is spared in the future as a result of awareness, than it’s worth it.
Natural food chefs across the country like me get giddy in October, as it’s another chance to wax poetic about foods for cancer prevention. If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that food is either medicine or poison depending on what we’re eating.
So in honor of breast cancer awareness month, I’m going to share my top five favorite foods to reduce breast cancer risk!
Don’t let the yellow color scare you, as curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to significantly inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
The ellagic acid in raspberries brings three cancer fighting properties to the table – detoxification of cancer causing chemicals in the body, antioxidant ability to prevent cellular damage by free-radicals, and ability to actually slow the growth of cancer cells.
And, although fresh is always best, in the off season frozen will do just fine.
The benefits associated with drinking green tea are well known due to the antioxidant EGCG which slows the growth of breast cancer cells. The cancer inhibitory effects of green tea is from the combined effects of multiple compounds from the leaf — not EGCG alone. The best way to harness the benefits is by simply drinking the tea itself; supplements and extracts need not apply.
This cancer inhibiting food always finds a nice place in my smoothies, and with good reason. Flax seeds are the best vegetarian source of omega-3 oils, and they’re high in lignans (cancer protective compounds with a phytoestrogenic effect). They may also block some of the long-term tumor-promoting risks of natural estrogen.
While children may have an aversion to this cancer-fighting food, you shouldn’t!
Brassica vegetables including broccoli are high in indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which has strong anticancer properties. I3C is especially important for preventing breast cancer because it helps shift the balance of estrogen away from a form which likely promotes tumor growth. The best way to consume broccoli is cooked as the nutrients become more bio-available when they are heated.