YRMC Offers 3 Lifestyle Tips that Offer Significant Protection

By Rita Carey Rubin, Host, YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen

Bodyweight, physical activity, and alcohol intake are three important factors known to influence a woman’s risk of breast cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society states that the following healthy habits may offer significant protection against the disease:

  • Being physically active and logging at least 300 minutes of moderate exercise, or 175 minutes of vigorous exercise, each week.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight throughout your lifetime and avoiding excess weight gain as you age.
  • Avoiding alcohol or limiting your intake to one drink or less per day.

While the links between diet and breast cancer are not completely clear, research also suggests that a high-fiber diet featuring daily portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and/or seeds may protect against breast cancer in a number of ways.

Fantastic Fiber!

Researchers offer a number of theories for why and how a plant-forward, a high-fiber diet may reduce breast cancer risk. As fiber moves through the digestive system, it binds with and removes estrogens and estrogen metabolites from the body. This may protect women from estrogen-positive breast cancer.

A high-fiber diet may also lower blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. Some research suggests that chronically elevated insulin levels in the blood – which can occur in diabetes, pre-diabetes, or even after high-carb, low-fiber meals – may contribute to increased breast cancer risk.

High-fiber foods and meals fill us up and reduce cravings for munchies throughout the day. This likely helps us to maintain a healthy weight.

Foods that Fend Off Cancer

In addition, many plant foods contain important phytonutrients with anti-cancer properties. A few of the phytonutrients currently under study for protection against breast cancer include:

  • Curcumin (present in turmeric.
  • Ellagitannins (concentrated in berries, pomegranate seeds, and nuts).
  • EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) (found in green tea).
  • Quercetin (concentrated in onions but other sources include raspberries, apples, cherries, tea, and red grapes).
  • Kaempferol (mostly found in green leafy vegetables).

Follow YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen on Facebook at facebook.com/YRMCyourhealthykitchen, where Rita posts the plant-forward meals she prepares at home. You’ll also find links to her favorite food and recipe sites.