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Eat Your Way to Breast Health

Your fight for breast health begins now — in the kitchen. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is a good reminder not to take your breast health for granted. One of the most powerful tools to preventing breast cancer is what you put in your body. Dr. Pamela Benitez, a general surgeon with a focus on breast cancer and a firm believer in Juice Plus+, reaffirms that “food is not just for calories and energy. Food is for prevention.” With this in mind, here are three of the most powerful foods and nutrients to help fight breast cancer and aid in an overall healthy diet.

· Cruciferous Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale are rich in sulforaphane – one of the primary phytochemicals that helps prevent cancer. Recent studies from the Linus Pauling Institute, which were supported by the National Cancer Institute, suggest that sulforaphane can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy and unaffected.

Only a small percentage of Americans consumes the recommended 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Luckily, Juice Plus+ is an easy way to help supplement your diet with whole-food based nutrition from fruits and vegetables, including cruciferous veggies broccoli, cabbage and kale. This way, you can ensure your body is getting the correct nutrients it needs to help breast health.

· Folate: A recent study found that women with the highest folate levels had a 44% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest folate levels. Folate is naturally occurring in many foods, and is particularly abundant in dark, leafy greens such as spinach, turnip, beet and mustard greens. Folate is also available in asparagus, brussels sprouts, root vegetables, dry beans and peas, citrus fruits and juices, whole grains, avocado and milk. To help protect yourself, consume 1-2 servings of folate-rich foods per day.

If you’re having difficulty consuming the recommended servings of foods high in folate. Juice Plus+ can help supplement folate levels as well, providing nutrition from folate-rich spinach and beets, as well as citrus fruits such as orange and pineapple, and whole grains.

· Omega-3s: Omega-3s are what’s known as essential fatty acids – essential because your body doesn’t produce them. The best way to get more omega-3s is to eat more fatty fish. Fish is not the only source of omega-3s; vegetarians and non-fish eaters have options such as: white chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts. Why do you need omega-3s? Research suggests that omega-3s enhance overall well-being and are particularly important for breast health, due to their ability to reduce inflammation, a condition that damages healthy tissue and can encourage cells – including cancer cells – to grow.

All in all, a healthy lifestyle along with a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining breast health. What tips do you have for keeping your breasts healthy?

Sources:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/diet/cruciferous-vegetables http://www.readersdigest.ca/health/breast-cancer/7-breast-cancer-fighting-foods/

http://pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/nutrition/how-fiber-helps-protect-against-cancer

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