I tell my patients, you are what you eat so make it worth your while. Being that it is breast cancer awareness month, I want women to understand that diet is a very important part of prevention, just like alcohol intake, smoking, and exercise. So what can you eat to protect your breasts? Here are my top 5 foods of choice.
1) Broccoli – this member of the cruciferous family (which also includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and mustard greens) helps clear out your excess estrogen to a healthier form. When you circulate estrogen in your body, it eventually goes to your liver for clearance. Sometimes the clearance form is a dangerous one that can promote cancer but broccoli and other members of that family push it the other way.
2) Blueberries and other berries – I recommend women buy as many organic blueberries as they can in the summer then freeze them for year round eating. Berries are very high in antioxidants and all important flavonoids that help your cells and your immune system keep you protected.
3) Fiber such as ground flax seeds – It is important you get 25-30 grams everyday to keep your intestines regular (clearing out toxins and other junk) and to bind up excess estrogen floating around.
4) Organic green tea – not technically a food but I drink a cup or two every morning and want to include it on the list. Green tea is very high in antioxidants and has been shown in studies to be cancer protective. Green tea can also help with hormone balance so I regularly recommend it to patients.
5) Omega 3’s – think about wild salmon (not farm raised), walnuts, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds as a part of your diet to protect your breasts. Omega 3 fatty acids are very important to the membranes of all the cells in your body and I encourage patients to eat these foods regularly.
As I mentioned before, lifestyle is a big part of cancer prevention and I advocate for moderate to high intensity exercise at least four times per week, lots of clean water, no smoking, minimal sugar, and minimal alcohol. Even though October is a designated month for your breast health, treat every month as an important one because you are worth it!