Best Foods for Healthy Breasts
Checking for lumps is part of the monthly routine for many women, but did you realise how big an impact your diet can have on breast health?
Following a sensible healthy diet is essential but it’s not often we think in specific terms about how what we’re eating could impact on our breasts.
All these are good for you, so how many are regularly in your daily diet?
1. Broccoli and more
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage are high in vitamins A and C. These are antioxidants that may help offset the toxins and carcinogens that can trigger breast cancer.
Sauté or blanch them to get the maximum nutrients and try to get your antioxidants from food instead of supplements. Some research suggests antioxidant supplements may be risky during breast cancer treatment.
2. Flax seeds
They are known for their omega-3s, but they’re good for your breasts because they have more lignans than any other food. These are plant compounds that have fibre and the antioxidant phytoestrogen.
Researchers think phytoestrogen targets oestrogen receptors so oestrogen-stimulated breast cancer can’t form. Add flax seeds (not flaxseed oil) into yoghurt, oatmeal, salads, soups, smoothies, and muffins.
People have used turmeric to curb inflammation for centuries and early research suggests it may have two big breast cancer benefits.
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, may help stop the spread of breast cancer and lessen the damage of chemotherapy on other parts of your body. But that finding comes from lab studies — more research is needed to see if this will hold true in humans.
Use turmeric in curry dishes, or add it to your soups, scrambled eggs, or warm milk.
4. Red and orange benefits
Carotenoids are natural pigments that give tomatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes their colour.
Your body converts them to vitamin A, which is important for your eyes and also help keep your skin healthy.
More research is needed, but some studies suggest there may be a link between carotenoids and a lower risk of some types of breast cancer.
5. Oily fish
These benefit your breasts with cancer-fighting vitamin D and omega-3 and some lab research shows that omega-3 can stop blood vessels from growing inside a tumour.
But more research is needed to know if eating oily fish can lower cancer risk so focus on salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel to avoid mercury exposure and get the most nutrients.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are high in immunity-boosting vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants that protect your body from cell damage.
Fresh, frozen, or dried they are great on their own and easy to add to yoghurt, cereal, smoothies, and muffins.
Many studies point to a diet with more plant-based protein than meat to protect your breasts from cancer or lower the risk of it coming back.
One study has shown that eating walnuts helps slow breast tumour growth and may even help lower the risk of breast cancer.
Best are red and purple varieties as these have high levels of resveratrol. That’s an antioxidant linked to the prevention of breast, liver, and stomach cancer.
However you eat them, as a snack or added to salads, always keep the skin on as that’s where most of the antioxidants live.
9. Soy protein
Previously, it was wrongly believed that rodent-based research linked soy foods with breast cancer. But updated studies found that rodents and humans process soy differently.
Healthy soy foods like soybeans (edamame), tofu, and tempeh are safe and have phytonutrients — called isoflavones — that may help prevent cancer.
Adding these to your diet are another way to get plant-based protein that eases inflammation and may lower your risk of breast cancer.
They’re also high in fibre and antioxidants and you can cook them to replace meat in many dishes, and the canned variety are just as effective.
11. Black beans
Of all the varieties of beans, these are considered one of the healthiest as their high antioxidant levels may help lower your risk of breast cancer, other types of cancer, and ongoing illnesses.
Black beans are also a strong source of ergothioneine, an amino acid that protects your DNA.
12. Whole grains
These are a crucial source of bioactive phytochemicals, natural compounds that can help prevent or manage breast cancer.
In one study, women who ate whole grains more than seven times a week showed a reduced risk of breast cancer.
You can add whole-grain oatmeal, bread, crackers, tortillas, cereals, pastas, and brown rice to your diet to maximise your intake.
The natural hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout a woman’s life can result in a number of potential issues with the breasts as there are so many hormone receptors there.
Breast cysts and lumps are not uncommon, and if you have a concern about breast cancer because of a family or other risk, then you will definitely want to ensure that you have good progesterone levels.
This is the hormone that naturally opposes and balances oestrogen in the body, and if you or someone you know is concerned about this, then the following article will be helpful.