What to Eat to Avoid Breast Cancer
More and more research suggests a healthy diet can lower our risk of breast cancer. However, what does “healthy” really mean?
Vi Rieck’s backyard is filled with organically grown fruits and vegetables. She and friend Jane Hill wouldn’t eat them any other way. Both battled breast cancer, and both believe diet played a role.
Vi says, “Once I got cancer, I became very cautious on eating meat. I kind of slid away from those cheeseburgers and patty melts that I love,”
We know the bad guys. Elaine Magee, M.P.H., a registered dietician and author of Tell Me What to Eat to Prevent Breast Cancer, wants us to get better acquainted with the good guys.
Spinach, broccoli and carrots top the list; garlic and onions are close behind. Oranges — even the juice — are Elaine’s fruit of choice. Elaine says we need more oatmeal and whole grain breads, beans and tuna. We should also choose canola and olive oil over corn or safflower oil. Last, but not least, she tells us that flaxseed is the “oat bran” of the new millennium.
What makes these foods so powerful? They’re loaded with plant chemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber. While far from conclusive, research shows they stimulate the immune system and protect cells from DNA damage.
“It would be ideal if we had a 10- or 20-year clinical study with women, but frankly, we don’t have that kind of time,” says Elaine.
Working these foods into your daily diet is as easy as Elaine’s vegetable bean salad. Add onions and a can of kidney beans to cooked carrots and broccoli. Top it off with vinaigrette made with canola or olive oil, and you’ve worked five of the top 10 foods into one dish.
What does she suggest you drink? Blend vanilla yogurt, apricots, a cup of orange juice, ice and a couple tablespoons of flaxseed. You’ve got yourself a power-packed drink that tastes great.
A half-cup of fruits and vegetables is one serving. If we put away 10 a day, eat fish twice a week and add flaxseed to our food, Elaine’s convinced we’d give our bodies a fighting chance against breast cancer.
You’ll find flaxseed in health food stores. Elaine says grind it up and sprinkle a teaspoon on soups, cereals and smoothies a few times a week.