8 easy tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer

Goumbook.com / October 6, 2012

October is the month for Breast cancer awareness and the time for all of us to remember all the important things we can do to protect ourselves.


1. Maintaining  a healthy weight. 
Keeping your weight in a healthy BMI range is very important. Why you ask? Because being overweight increases your body’s levels of Estrogen, a hormone that plays a key role in the development of breast cancer.


2. Eat your vegetables (and fruits)!
Produce provides numerous phytonutrients and antioxidants, which help prevent damage to cells throughout the body. Studies show that five or more servings of veggies a day was associated with lower risk of breast cancer. You’ll get the most protection from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Brussels sprouts are particularly powerful with studies showing that they can inhibit growth of breast cancer cells.  Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are also great. Recommended fruits include berries, cherries and pomegranates.


3. Watch the amount of fat you consume and choose the right fats!
Research suggests that diets high in fat pose a greater risk for breast cancer than diets low in fat. Try to limit your fat intake to about 20% of your total daily calorie intake.  The type of fat you consume is also very important. Modern day diets are too high in saturated fats (think marbled meats and dairy products), trans fats (found in most processed and fast food, look out for ‘hydrogenated oil’ on food labels) and omega 6 (sunflower and safflower oil for example).  Increase your intake of Omega 3 and monounsaturated fats to decrease your risk for cancer and heart disease (think oily fish such as salmon, nuts, avocado and olive oil).


4. Avoid high temperature cooking for meat
Cooking meats at high temperatures produces chemicals called HCAs, which have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers.  Studies have shown that the risk is higher for people who eat red meat (especially beef) four or more times per week, and who overcook their meats. The most HCAs are created when meats are fried, grilled or barbequed. Roasting and baking produces less HCAs, and poaching or boiling meat produces the least. I recommend limiting your intake of red meat altogether, (aim for one time a week or less), always choose lean cuts and opt for safe cooking methods.


5-Vitamin D 
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several cancers, including breast. I recommend eating vitamin D–rich foods such as salmon and sardines for example. However, modern day foods provide limited Vitamin D unfortunately and you will never be able to get sufficient amounts through food.  I would recommend that you expose your self to the sun daily for 20 mns, and take a daily multivitamin that provides 100 percent Daily recommended value of vitamin D3. I would also recommend that you check your vitamin D levels at your next check up as most people are deficient and don’t know it.


6. Cut down on sugar as much as possible
Sugar has no nutritional benefit whatsoever for our body and is detrimental for our health. In the case of cancer, sugar has often been referred to as a cancer-feeder so it is best to limit it as much as you can.


7. Limit your dairy consumption
Many studies (including Harvard’s Physicians health study) have found that people who consume more then 2 servings of dairy a day increase their risk of cancer quite significantly.


8.  Add Curcumin to your food!
Recent studies show that curcumin, the yellow spice found in turmeric and curry powder, may have anti-tumor compounds that can protect against breast cancer. Try these ideas for adding curcumin to your diet:

–          Turmeric tea: Boil 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder. Serve it with a little honey, lemon or ginger to taste.

–          -Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to air-popped popcorn as a snack.

–          Mix ½ teaspoon Turmeric or curry powder to hummus and dip with veggies!

–          Add a little turmeric to oven-roasted veggies.


Most importantly, foster a positive attitude to life, manage your stress and smile every day – our state of mind has a big impact on the health of our bodies!


Tania Abdulkarim Farha


Editor’s Note:

We would like to add to this list a last tip,


9.  Drink camel milk!
Camels milk has been shown to trigger apoptosis (controlled cell death) in human breast cancer and liver cancer cells via epigenetic mechanisms (Korashi. Feb 2012; Korashi. May 2012).  Click here for more.


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