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No food or diet can prevent one from getting breast cancer; it is not 100% effective. However, nutrition is an important aspect and plays an important role in decreasing the chances of breast cancer. Even if you are diagnosed with it, eating and maintaining a nutritious and well-balanced diet can make a significant difference and improve response to treatment. Here are 12 superfoods to keep in mind:
Flax seeds oil contain rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help in forming a protective shield against cancer cells. Flax seeds can be added to salads along with a light dressing. They can also be added to a bowl of oats or your favourite smoothie.
The spice that is found in most Indian households, this ingredient contains a cancer fighting component known as curcumin that prevents the growth of cancer cells of breast, gastrointestinal tract, lung and skin. It is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which slow down the spread of breast cancer. Adding a pinch of turmeric to your daily food intake, can help fight cancer cells.
Another great source of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also a good source of vitamin B12 and D. These essential components provide the body with the right amount of nutrition that regulates cell growth and prevents cancer. It also lends a boost to the immune system. A lean protein, salmon can be consumed with your favourite green veggies and healthy chicken broth.
Garlic consists of sulphur compounds, flavones and flavonols which help in preventing the onset of cancer. It slows down the growth of tumours and is proven to be effective in killing cancer cells. Having a pod of garlic every morning or adding it to some of your Italian, Spanish or Indian dishes is certainly beneficial in living a cancer free life.
Greens such as spinach are high in antioxidants and fibre, making them the best cancer fighting tools. It contains an antioxidant known as lutein, which plays an important role in safeguarding one from cancers of the breast, mouth and stomach. It contains certain carotenoids that are effective against radicals. Combining fresh spinach in your meal or salads increases your supply of nutrients.
Blueberries contain Polyphenols, which have anti-cancer properties and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that aid in breast cancer prevention. They also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that assist each other to prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Blueberry smoothies for breakfast can be a delicious option.
Tomatoes contain the right amounts of antioxidants which are proven to be an effective weapon against cancer. The red colouring in tomatoes contains lycopene which helps reduce the risk of cancer. Lycopene has proven to prevent cancer cells from growing. Eating tomatoes fresh and raw or as a soup on a daily basis will lower the risk of developing the disease.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. In recent years, many in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that green tea possesses anti-cancer effects. Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinesis a plant rich in polyphenols which act as anti-inflammatory agent.
Phytochemicals suppress the growth of estrogen and is known to prevent the growth of cancerous tumours. It contains natural compounds of Urolithin-B which inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation. Consuming the whole fruit or its juice will help in your fight against cancer.
Mushrooms contain a good source of vitamin B3 and B2 which helps in decreasing the risks of breast cancer. They also contain anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Mushrooms contain compounds that prevent estrogen levels from increasing, thus preventing the growth of breast cancers; also keeping your hormones in check. Mushrooms can be cooked up along with some green leafy vegetables.
The author is a dietician at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan