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There are many things that cause cancer, but what’s my favorite tool for breast cancer prevention? Nutrition. To help prevent breast cancer, start with eating better foods. Your diet is one of the most important, and easy, lifestyle changes that you can make. The bonus is that it may help you prevent breast cancer.
You can’t control a family history of cancer. You can help boost your immune system by eating foods that make it easier for your body to fight off free radicals. Free radicals are those cells that go rogue and cause problems in your body. Research shows that nutrition may help to prevent breast and other types of cancer.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”Benjamin Franklin
I love this quote because it resonates with me so much. In two more years I will have lived as long as a cancer survivor, as I have lived before getting cancer. That blows my mind. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. So cancer prevention is a topic I spend a great deal of time on.
I don’t believe my diet caused my cancer. I don’t believe that my diet will guarantee that cancer will not rear its ugly head again. With that said, it can’t hurt. More and more studies are showing that your diet impacts your risk of cancer. In fact, diet can contribute to 1/3 of all cancers.
I am easily overwhelmed. I want to keep things simple, especially about my diet. I started out making small changes to my lifestyle. Then I eased myself into some healthy nutritional habits.
- I switched to unprocessed foods. It is easier than you think. I started with cutting out 5 of the worst ingredients and I built my habit from there. Starting slow and creating a habit that you can be consistent with is what’s important. Remember this is a lifestyle change, not a two week vacation from processed food. Check out this post if you want more details on how I did it.
- I cut out Trans-fat. Trans-fat is the same as Hydrogenated fat or fake fat. I still eat fat, but I swapped healthy fats where I was able to. Healthy fats? Yes, there is such a thing. Think olive oil and avocado. Our bodies need fat, but not too much. Foods that come from the sea or plants that contain fat are better for us than those that come from animals.
- I added more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is a super boost to your immune system. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help to fight free radicals. This keeps your body functioning at its best. The more colorful the better! Eating more fruits and veggies also increased my fiber intake. Fiber also is filling and it has no fat. Eating more cruciferous vegetables may lower your risk of breast cancer in particular. Broccoli and cauliflower are my favorite cruciferous vegetables.
- I buy organic for the dirty dozen. Organic produce have fewer pesticides and are less toxic as a rule. I buy organic when it is workable for all my produce. When it is not workable, I buy organic. Only for the fruits and vegetables that farmers use the most pesticides on. It’s called the dirty dozen. Want the infographic to stick on your fridge? Get it here.
Preventing breast cancer with nutrition is not guaranteed. Yet, using nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of cancer. That is worth it. Living a healthy lifestyle by eating right, drinking lots of water, and being active, is always a good idea.