October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Besides showing your support by wearing those famous pink ribbons, it’s a good idea to make sure that you optimize your chances of preventing the potentially deadly disease.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 40,480 female and 450 male deaths caused by breast cancer in 2008 in the U.S. There are several things that you can do to avoid being a statistic, and instead a survivor- not the least of which is minding your diet.
There’s a fantastic article from the folks over at WebMD.com on what you should eat to fend off breast cancer. Here are their seven strategies, and a brief description. For more, check out Fight Breast Cancer at Every Meal:
1. Increase Your Produce Intake
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that help protect against all forms of cancer.
2. Cut Down on Fat
Studies on dietary fat have been conflicting, but most experts say it’s still wise to steer clear of saturated fat.
3. Get Lots of Calcium and Vitamin D
A 10-year Harvard study found that pre-menopausal women who got 1,366 milligrams of calcium and 548 IU of vitamin D daily slashed their breast cancer risk by a third, and their odds of getting invasive breast cancer by up to 69 percent.
4. Sprinkle Flaxseed on Your Cereal
Flaxseed is a good source of lignans, compounds that may play a role in preventing estrogen dependent cancers by inhibiting the development of tumors or slowing their rate of growth.
5. Keep BBQ to a Minimum
This one is a real bummer. A recent study showed that post-menopausal women who had consumed a lot of barbecued and smoked red meat or chicken over their lifetimes had a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
6. Moderate Alcohol Intake
More than one daily drink increases your odds of developing breast cancer.
7. Fill up on Fiber
A diet that’s rich in fiber (30+ grams a day) can cut the risk of breast cancer among pre-menopausal women in half.