Reduce your risk of breast cancer by eating these carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables
Studies have shown that eating carotenoids can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer significantly. Those in the top two-thirds in terms of carotenoid levels and consumption were found to be 33 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, in a Women’s Healthy Eating and Living study.
Carotenoid-rich foods include the vegetables and fruits that tend to be the most colorful visually. These pigments indicate the presence of antioxidants, which are known for their health-promoting, cancer-fighting properties. Consuming more foods that contain these compounds is something that anyone can do to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Brightly colored vegetables and fruits offer cancer-fighting compounds
One example of a carotenoid is beta-carotene, which can be orange, dark green or red in color. Just 3 to 6 milligrams per day can reduce breast cancer risk, according to the Institute of Medicine. Some of the best sources of carotenoids include spinach, carrots, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, red bell peppers, mustard greens, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin and cantaloupe.
Other cancer-fighting foods that can help prevent cancer include natural fermented soy products, like tempeh and omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in flaxseed, walnuts and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines; however, it can also be acquired by taking a daily supplement.
A diet that is rich in fiber is also associated with the prevention of cancer. Some of the healthiest high-fiber foods to include in a cancer-fighting diet include raspberries, barley, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip greens, beans, legumes and whole grains.
Reducing the intake of conventional dairy, red meats and processed foods produce positive results
In addition to favoring carotenoid-rich foods and getting enough soy and omega-3s, there are certain foods that should be kept out of a breast cancer-fighting diet. Factory-farmed dairy products, red meat, processed foods and alcohol should be avoided or only eaten occasionally to help support breast health.
In addition, (healthy) fat intake generally should be about 20 – 30 percent of your diet for ideal health; doing so has been shown to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer by an average of nearly 25 percent in the Women’s Intervention Nutrition study.
Processed carbohydrates can cause insulinemia and glycemia – which can in turn stimulate cancer growth. While processed carbs and sugars should be avoided, complex carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, peas, beans and lentils will contribute to overall good health. By the way, many foods that contain carotenoids also contain complex carbs.
As an added benefit, foods rich in carotenoids tend to be low in calories and loaded with key vitamins, minerals and nutrients essential for health. Getting a good amount of these cancer-fighting foods in your daily diet is essential to reducing breast cancer risk, but it can also support your overall wellbeing – so, get started today!
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