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Preventing Breast Cancer: A Grocery Store Approach

Hey Survivor fans and welcome to February. We trust you are making the most of this new year and are glad you stopped by.

This is the time of year many of us are bulking up on Vitamin C to arm ourselves against the common cold or even the flu. What if we told you there are similar approaches we can take to defend ourselves against the growth of cancer cells in our breasts?

Back in December we told you about the benefits of Vitamin D for increasing survival rate in breast cancer patients, including foods like salmon, tuna, eggs, and mushrooms and even non-food sources like sunlight. We are happy to add that there are even more vitamins and sources with similar cancer-fighting nutrients that could veer off cancer cells from developing in the first place.

Let’s look at some leafy greens to start. Broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and the like all contain the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane, but broccoli tops the list having the largest amount. Sulforaphane increases the body’s protective enzymes while ridding us of harmful cancer causing chemicals. Many of these same vegetables also contain Vitamin K which studies have shown also fights off the growth of tumors. Other veggies with this vitamin include celery and spinach.

If you like to snack on nuts, you may already be equipping yourself against breast cancer. Nuts like walnuts, almonds and pistachios, contain fair amounts of phytosterols that can attach to estrogen receptors which may help prevent or slow down the growth of tumors in the breast fueled by estrogen.

In a similar estrogen-central approach, garlic may be something to check out. Garlic also contains phytochemicals, most importantly phytoestrogens that can also fight off breast cancer by protecting cells from estrogen. Due to their likeness to estrogen, plant estrogens can bind onto estrogen receptors where our own actual estrogen would have attached. Since the plant estrogens are weaker that our own estrogen, this helps decrease hormone activity which has been linked to cancer growth. Another phytochemical component in garlic is allyl sulfide which has proven helpful in regulating cells thereby possibly preventing a healthy cell from becoming cancerous.

Orange-colored fruits and veggies like oranges, cantaloupes, carrots and sweet potatoes are packed with a form of Vitamin A known as carotenoids, which studies indicate may help fight breast cancer. Research shows that women with higher levels of carotenoids in their blood have a reduced risk for developing breast cancer.

Another type of phytoestrogen we learned about before are called lignans and are present in a variety of seeds like flax, pumpkin and sesame, as well as whole grains, bran and even beans.

Catechins are a natural type of phenol and antioxidant which have shown benefits in breast cancer prevention by protecting your cells and preventing the development of cancer. Green tea and white tea are both great sources of these cancer fighting catechins.

We’ve only listed some of several breast cancer fighting sources but we hope we’ve started the conversation and you’ll look into some tasty options for yourself, or speak with your doctor about implementing one or more into your daily diet.

Visit us later this month for more EOTS-style inspiration as we introduce our calendar woman of the month. Until then, a trip to your grocer could prepare you for more than just next winter storm so make that list and get to shopping!

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