How many articles have you read that included diets for certain diseases from hearth health to quick fixes on losing weight? Although there is no one diet that aids in preventing Breast cancer there are many food choices that help reduce the risk.

Breast cancer, according the to the American Cancer Society is the most commonly diagnosed cancers among American women besides skin cancer. A woman’s risk doubles if she has a first-degree relative such as a mother, sister, or daughter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. A whopping 38 percent of breast cancer in the U.S. is preventable through healthy life style according to the Institute of Cancer Research.

Some key nutritional factors for reducing your risk of breast caner

Alcohol increases estrogen levels in the body and has been linked to certain estrogen positive cancers as well as other types of cancer.   Moderate Alcohol consumption among women has been linked to increased the risk of breast cancer especially those who a low in folate. Alcohol consumption should be kept to a moderate amount of 1 4oz glass of wine, one beer or one mixed drink per day.

Plant foods such as dark leafy greens, legumes fruits and whole grains should be the focus of the diet. These plant-based foods contain a complex mixture of vitamins minerals, fiber and Phytonutrients.   Phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates have been found to protect against certain cancers including breast cancer.

Foods high in antioxidants such as colorful fruits and vegetables will play a beneficial role in preventing cancer. Antioxidants, which are combinations of vitamin C, selenium, and many phytonutrients, protect cells from damage cased by free radicals. These free radicals cause inflammation and damage to the cells normal metabolism, which are linked to cancers.

Sources of Calcium and vitamin D such as yogurt and milk have been recently researched looking at the link to lowering the risk of breast cancer. Be sure to look at the label of yogurts for the amount of sugar in a serving. Many of the flavored yogurts have roughly 4- 5 teaspoons of sugar per 6 ounces.

Curcumin helps fight breast cancer and is a great anti-inflammatory spice that you can add to many vegetables and meals. It is also known in the stores as turmeric. There have been multiple studies showing that it inhibits the activation of genes that trigger cancer or the spread of tumor cells. Locally, Turco’s in Yorktown sells fresh small pieces (it looks similar to ginger root but slightly orange in color) or you can buy it in the spice section of the your local market.

Start eating more garlic and onions (Allium family) and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts broccoli and kale as they contain sulfur, which aids in the removal of toxins in your body. These vegetables have other health benefits so it’s a no brainer to consume these in higher amounts for all around good health.

Lastly be physically active. One factor is a healthy body weight, excess body fat sends outs chemicals that increase risk for several types of cancer including postmenopausal breast cancer. Regular physical activity plays a part in hormone levels and keeps you immune system working properly. Its not just about weight, it also lowers the risk of cancer and helps release “happy” hormones.

What are some of your favorite ingredients that aid in breast health?