With Angelina Jolie’s recent publicity for her decision to get a preventative double mastectomy after finding out she was positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, everyone is all abuzz about whether or not they should get tested, and whether preventative mastectomies are viable measures to take for peace of mind. The truth is, genetic testing is not financially feasible for a lot of people, and even for those women who do test positive, parting with their beautiful boobies (and the subsequent reconstructive surgery) just doesn’t sound like their cup of tea. So what’s a girl to do?
As a holistic nutritionist, I am always going on and on about the cancer preventing power of food. Making changes to your diet to increase breast cancer-fighting foods decreases risk even if you are a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation, or have another genetic predisposition towards breast cancer. Truth is, eating healthy, potently anti-carcinogenic foods is something every woman has access to, and it should be the first line of defense to decrease risk or breast and other cancers, regardless of whether or not you are at risk.
One of my absolute favorite nutrition teachers, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, coined the acronym “G-BOMBS” in his book Super Immunity, and it’s a wonderful way to remember what foods to increase every single day to decrease your breast cancer risk (as well as your risk of all other cancers).
G-BOMBS: Top 6 Breast Cancer Prevention Foods1. G – GREENS:
Greens are the number one most potent cancer preventing and fighting foods. The phytonutrients in dark leafies pack a potent cancer preventing punch with lots of folate, calcium and carotenoids. Cruciferous greens (like kale, broccoli, bok choy) are high in glucosinolates, which are a key ingredient in cancer prevention. Plus, they also scrub your system of the excess estrogens that can lead to breast cancer and all kinds of reproductive system issues, which makes them the absolute best food for breast cancer prevention. Extra bonus? Greens lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and can slow the signs of aging. Plus, they’re amazing for weight loss! Make sure to eat greens at least twice a day!
2. B – BEANS:
A study in the International Journal of Cancer showed that women who eat beans and lentils frequently have a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t. Beans stabilize blood sugar and hormone levels, are loaded with fiber, and are an amazing source of calcium, iron, and protein, making them the ideal choice for replacing some animal protein in your diet (which is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer). Beans are also amazing for weight loss and reducing cravings! Make sure to eat beans several times a week!
3. O – ONIONS:
Onions, along with their cousins in the allum family, garlic, leeks, scallions, and shallots, are super high in organosulfur compounds, which prevents growth of cancer cells, detoxifies carcinogens, and have anti-inflammatory effects that lower cancer risk substantially. Not only that, but these powerhouses have immune-boosting and anti-diabetic effects on the body as well. These puppies are also great for digestive health, general detox, and cold-prevention. Make sure to cook with onions and garlic everyday!
4. M – MUSHROOMS:
In a recent Chinese study, women who consumed fresh, cooked mushrooms daily had a 64% decrease in risk of breast cancer! The study also found that women who consumed mushrooms daily and drank green tea daily had an 89% decrease in risk! 89%!!! That’s huge. Now imagine what these two potent cancer preventers could do if they were a part of a diet high in all the other G-BOMBS?? Even genetics couldn’t stand a chance! In addition to preventing all kinds of cancer, mushrooms also have an anti-inflammtory effect on the body, slow signs of aging, block the production of excess estrogen. Amazing! Make sure to eat cooked mushrooms at least 4 times a week, or daily if you have a hereditary predisposition toward breast cancer.
5. B – BERRIES:
You’ve been hearing me talk forever about all the health benefits of berries. Blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are nature’s perfect superfoods, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, which are vital in decreasing your risk of breast cancer. These beauties slow the growth of tumors, cognitive decline, and aging, and protect your heart as well! Instead of eating candy and sweets, the sugar in which increases risk of cancer and inflammation, reach for nature’s candy, berries! Eat a handful of berries every day.
6. S – SEEDS:
Nuts and seeds truly are two of nature’s perfect foods. Loaded with healthy fats, protein, minerals (like cancer protective selenium), and vitamins, these little guys are potent cancer-fighters. Flaxseeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and chia seeds are amazing sources of omega-3’s, which have been shown to be super effective at blocking the growth of breast cancer cells. Nuts and seeds are filling, making them an amazing weight loss food, and they also prevent against heart disease and diabetes! Make sure to eat a handful of nuts every day, and use flaxseed oil in your smoothies and on your salads!
[Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]Related articlesVitamin D And Breast Cancer Risk (breastcancer.answers.com)6 Ways to Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk (everydayhealth.com)Scientists Confident Omega-3s Prevent Breast Cancer (breastcancer.answers.com)Breast Cancer Prevention: Eat for Breast Health (everydayhealth.com)Angelina Jolie’s aunt Debbie Martin dies of breast cancer following star’s preventative double mastectomy (newsday.com)Few women qualify for genetic breast cancer test, Alberta experts warn (calgaryherald.com)How common is the BRCA gene mutation that Angelina Jolie has? (o.canada.com)