Proper Nutrition and the Battle with Breast Cancer

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October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in Israel and around the world. Breast cancer is the most common disease amongst women around the world. With the current recommendations, of maintaining a healthy lifestyle including physical activity, proper body weight and a balanced diet – all of these may reduce the risks of cancer.

Moran Kilesi, a dietitian at the Food safety and Nutrition Department at Leket Israel, shares advice for foods that may reduce the risks of breast cancer.

Soy products – We now know that soy consumption and its products are safe and can even protect against breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), eating traditional soy foods can reduce the risk of hormonal cancers, including breast, endometrial and prostate cancers. When talking about the consumption of traditional soy products, the intention is for unprocessed soybean products or those that have undergone minimal processing. For example: soybeans, edemame, tofu, and soy milk.

Fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are important in reducing the risk of a variety of diseases, including breast cancer. They are rich in powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect us from the oxidation damage that occurs in our body. Therefore, in order to reduce the risks of cancer, it is recommended to increase and diversify the consumption of fruits and vegetables. According to a new study from Harvard University, there are certain fruits and vegetables that are more effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer. These include mainly cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.), leafy vegetables and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, for example: lettuce, orange -colored pepper, oranges, carrots and more.

Olive oil – The consumption of Olive oil has been proven in studies to protect against breast cancer. It is recommended to use cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil.

Foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids offer a contribution to protect against breast cancer. This type of acid tends to oxidize easily and therefore it is best to consume it in whole foods, for example: green vegetables, ground flaxseeds, sea fish and walnuts.

Which foods should then be diminished?

It is recommended to limit the consumption of red meat and processed foods, smoked and fried. It is also recommended to reduce alcohol and sweet drinks.

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