Brenda Watson — Breast Cancer Awareness month may soon be over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of contracting this potentially fatal disease. While regular exercise can most definitely help decrease your chances of breast cancer, burning calories at the gym won’t do much if you’re not filling up your fuel tank with all of the proper foods. Diet plays an extremely important role since it can provide you with the nutrients and vitamins that are packed with cancer-fighting properties. That said, to learn what ingredients should be on your grocery shopping list, continue reading on.
Dark Leafy Greens
Baby green spinach, kale, mustard greens, and collars are cancer-fighting superstars. That’s because they contain selenium, natural folate, and beta carotene—essential vitamins and antioxidants that help with the reproduction of healthy cells. Leafy greens also safe-guard healthy cells from cancer-causing free radicals. You can eat dark leafy greens as a lettuce substitute and include them in salads, sandwiches, tacos, and wraps; or you can add them into soups, stews, and pasta dishes. They’re also tasty as side dishes. You can also consider getting your daily fill by turning a cup of spinach or kale into a breakfast smoothie.
Lycopene is what gives a tomato its vibrant pigment, but it’s also an extremely powerful antioxidant that can prevent cellular damage and slow the growth of cancerous tumors—this means that if you do develop a tumor, hopefully it’s small enough that it can be easily removed and taken care of upon diagnosis. Remember: early detection is key. Tomatoes can be enjoyed in sandwiches, soups, pasta and pizza sauces, tomato-based picante sauce, or even enjoyed in a tall glass. Tomato juice is a great post-work out beverage.
Apples, especially those of the red varieties, contain some of the strongest antioxidants available—quercetin and triterpenoids. Combined, these antioxidants (which are exclusively found in the apple peel) can help boost your immunity and may reduce your chances of cancer. Eating a raw, unpeeled apple with your breakfast or as a snack is highly recommended. You can also chop off some fresh apple and add it into a salad or add it into a smoothie. You’ll want to avoid getting your apple source from pie and other baked goods since a high amount of sugar has been linked to some cancers and other health complications.
Lastly, as mentioned before, beta-carotene is a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant. It can convert to Vitamin A, which is another cancer-fighting agent and it can boost your immunity substantially. Beta-carotene is part of the cantonoid family which research shows can help reduce breast cancer risk. While small traces of beta-carotene can essentially be found in all bright-colored fruits and vegetables, carrots are loaded with it. Shred carrots and enjoy them in salads, slaws, or sandwiches. Or chop up chunky pieces to add in soups and stews. You can eat them raw with a veggie dip or enjoy a tall glass of carrot juice. You can also pickle carrots if you want them to be a bit tangy. Try not to overload on carrots however; too much a day can make your skin have a slight orange tint if you’re not careful.
About the Author
Brenda Watson is a freelance health writer for www.healthinsurancequotes.org. She welcomes your feedback.