Studies show that a meal plan rich in fruits and veggies and low in starchy carbohydrates may help prevent breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence. Several large studies have conclusively shown that diet and exercise modifications can significantly improve total health. One prospective study of 23,000 participants evaluated adherence to 4 recommendations: no tobacco use, 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week, maintaining a body mass index less than 30 kg/m2, and eating a healthy diet (high consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and low consumption of meat).People who adhered to these 4 recommendations had an overall 78% lower risk for development of a chronic condition during an approximately 8-year timeframe. Furthermore, in those adhering to the recommendations, there was a 93% reduced risk of diabetes mellitus, an 81% reduced risk of myocardial infarction, and a 36% reduction in the risk of cancer .
Medicinal Mushrooms:Mushrooms contain minerals, vitamins (e.g., thiamin, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and vitamin D), amino acids, and other organic compounds. Some of these natural mushroom compounds have demonstrated specific activity against aberrantly activated signaling pathways in cancer cells. Mushrooms and mushroom extracts have been shown to possess anti-carcinogenic properties, anti-mutagenic activity and to stimulate immune responsiveness in experimental models. Higher dietary intake of mushrooms decreased breast cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal Chinese women .Medicinal mushrooms like Agaricus bisporus, A. brasiliensis, Trametes versicolor, Grifola frondosa, Inonotus obliquus, Lentinus edodes, Leucoagaricus americanus, Pleurotus ostreatus, Sparassis crispa etc have demonstrated breast cancer inhibitory activity .
Pomegranate:The pomegranate fruit, a rich source of ellagitannins (ET), has attracted recent attention due to its anticancer and anti atherosclerotic properties. Researchers have found that Pomegranate Ellagitannin–Derived Compounds Exhibit Antiproliferative and Antiaromatase Activity in Breast Cancer Cells . Several mechanistic studies in cell culture and mouse models suggest possible estrogen receptor-mediated and non-estrogen receptor-mediated benefits of pomegranate juice with respect to breast cancer risk .
Broccoli sprout:Researchers found sulforaphane present in Broccoli sprout targeted and killed the cancer stem cells and prevented new tumors from growing. In 2011, the September Oncology Report, found that sulforaphane suppressed breast cancer cell proliferation and growth. Sulforaphane acts as a "signaling" molecule. Once inside the cell, sulforaphane switches on over 200 specific genes that may be "asleep" due to toxicity, poor health and aging factors. Once these genes are turned back on, they produce special detoxification enzymes and antioxidant enzymes . Currently Rosewell Park institute is recruiting patients for A Pilot Study of Broccoli Sprout Extract in Patients With Breast Cancer .
Apples:Several studies have shown an inverse relationship between the consumption of apples and the risk of several cancers, especially Breast cancer. Apples are a major source of dietary phytochemicals and flavonoids and possess potent antioxidant activity and antiproliferative activity in vitro. As per the result published in Nutrition and Cancer, Apple Peel Extract treatment resulted in a marked concentration-dependent decrease in the protein levels of proliferative cell nuclear antigen, a marker for proliferation. In addition, Apple Peel Extract treatment resulted in a marked increase in maspin, a tumor suppressor protein that negatively regulates cell invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis . A recent article from 2015 have found that Pelingo apple, new variety of apple cultivar, is rich in food components that can markedly inhibit in vitro tumorigenesis and growth of human breast cancer cells and could provide natural bioactive non-nutrient compounds, with potential chemopreventive activity .
Walnuts:Walnuts contain high amounts of polyphenols, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties. "Eating walnuts delayed the development of tumors by at least three weeks in the mice. Extrapolating to humans, this would be about a nine-year delay" says Hardman and colleagues who studied genetically altered mice that were programmed to develop tumors within six months. Extracts derived from walnut oil decreased proliferation of Breast cancer cells, as did ALA and β-sitosterol . Walnuts are one of the few vegetarian and vegan sources of super anti-inflammatory Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Studies have shown that walnut oil lowers two inflammation markers in your blood, CRP (C-Reactive Protein) and TNFalpha. Both of these markers are associated with cancer . Studies carried out indicate that walnut consumption could contribute to a healthy diet to reduce risk for breast cancer.
Soy:Soybeans are the most widely used, least expensive, and least caloric way to get large amounts of protein with very little fat and no cholesterol. You can eat soybeans in many forms, including tofu, the beans themselves (also known as edamame), soy milk, miso, and soy powder. The current consent among health experts who study soy is that breast cancer survivors can safely eat soy foods. Emerging research suggests that soy foods may decrease the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in women with a history of the disease. Soy is rich in isoflavones, which compete with estrogen for receptor (ER) binding, and may protect against breast cancer. Genistein, daidzein and the Bowman-Birk inhibitor are three examples of phytochemicals or isoflavones in soy that appear to have anti- breast cancer activity .
Turmeric:Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of the most potent Cancer Fighting Foods. Curcumin, the active ingredient in this common medicinal and culinary herb has been widely studied. Turmeric has been used for centuries to support cancer patients in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic Medicine. Curcumin actually exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, as well as potent anti-cancer properties that have been intensely studied. Now modern science demonstrates why it works. Curcumin has been shown to influence many cellular factors, including lowering RANKL protein. Countries such as India in which turmeric is frequently consumed in the daily diet have lower rates of many cancers including prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Study published in 2015 in the medical journal Molecular Carcinogenesis found that curcumin caused cancer cells to commit suicide, a process known as apoptosis. The scientists concluded by stating that “potential use of terpene-conjugated curcuminoids as a novel class of cancer chemopreventive agents.”
Cabbage:The study carried out way back in 2005 indicated that "increased consumption of cabbage/sauerkraut foods in adolescence and adulthood may be an important primary prevention for breast cancer,"  . Thereafter several studies have been done to implicate the role of cabbage and cabbage juice in reducing breast cancer. The most recent paper on cabbage published this September explain the mechanism behind the chemopreventive activity of white cabbage products due to modulation of the expression of specific transcription factors . The cancer-preventing effects of cabbage are due, at least in part, to the antioxidant richness of the vegetable. Cabbage is also proving to aid in the prevention of cancer due to a compound called Indole-3-carbinol. Study published in Cellular Biochemistry states that Indole-3-carbinol at a minimum effective dose schedule of 300 mg per day is a promising chemopreventive agent for breast cancer prevention .
Berries:Berries are rich sources of a wide variety of antioxidant phenolics; these phytochemicals include flavonoids, stilbenes, tannins, and phenolic acids. Reactive oxidant species and free radicals are produced in an extensive range of physiological processes. In addition to the antioxidant defenses produced in the body, there are exogenous sources supplied by the diet; this is the case of berry fruits, among others. Much of the interest in berry phenolics has focused on cranberries and both cultivated and wild blueberries, although also other berries including black currants, cloudberries, lingonberries, and red raspberries possess promising bioactivities that may have relevance to cancer management . Berry phytochemicals potentially sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents by inhibiting pathways that lead to treatment resistance, and berry fruit consumption may provide protection from therapy-associated toxicities .
Carrots:Consumption of carrots has been found to be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in numerous studies. This protective effect appears to be due to the interaction of multiple components of carrots, not just the presence of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Higher levels of carotenoids and vitamin A in the blood of breast cancer survivors have both been found to be associated with greater likelihood of breast cancer-free survival. Harvard Medical School researchers reported in 2012 that women with carotenoid levels in the top 20% of the measured range had a 15 to 20% reduced risk of breast cancer compared with those who had the lowest levels . Recent study published in American Journal clinical nutrition, researchers carried out 20 years follow up study to determine the impact of carotenoids. The result states that higher concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, and total carotenoids were associated with 18–28% statistically significant lower risks of breast cancer .
Word of caution:No food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer. But the foods listed above can make your body the healthiest it can be, boost your immune system, and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible. These foods by itself cannot cure cancer, though some of them may help control treatment side effects or help your body get well after treatment. The food choices you make may help cancer treatment work more effectively or may help keep you healthy.
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