Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women across the world. Preventing it requires an understanding of various risk factors to lower that risk. One preventive measure is a well-balanced diet and exercise routine and keeping your BMI in the normal range, between 18-25. This article shall examine the role of diet and exercise in the prevention of breast cancer.
The Link between Diet and Breast Cancer
Studies have affirmed that diet plays a pivotal role in breast cancer prevention. Certain nutrients and foods have been found to have a protective effect against breast cancer, while others may increase the risk.
Key Nutrients for Breast Cancer Prevention
Antioxidants, compounds that protect the body against free radicals that can cause cellular damage and increase cancer risk, are found in fruits and vegetables. Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium are some of the antioxidants that have been found to have a protective effect against breast cancer.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen in the body, and they have been found to have a negative effect against for breast cancer. Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soy products, legumes, and flaxseeds.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and have been found to have a protective effect against breast cancer. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, nuts, and seeds like chia seeds.
Foods to Include in a Breast Cancer Prevention Diet
Incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds in one’s diet is critical in reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Foods to Avoid or Limit
Limiting the consumption of processed foods, red and processed meats, and high-fat dairy products is also essential as they may increase the risk of breast cancer.
The Impact of Physical Activity on Breast Cancer Risk
Physical activity is another critical factor in breast cancer prevention. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve overall health.
The Role of Weight Management
Maintaining a healthy weight is a significant factor in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Physical activity, particularly aerobic exercise, can help manage weight and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen is stored in body fat, so reducing your overall estrogen exposure is important in reducing breast cancer development and recurrence.
Recommended Types of Physical Activity
Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and mind-body exercises such as yoga have all been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Incorporating enjoyable exercise routines into daily life is vital.
In conclusion, a healthy diet and regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer development or recurrence. Ingraining these healthy lifestyle changes as a regular part of daily life can reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve overall health.
- World Cancer Research Fund International. (2018, October). Diet, nutrition, physical activity, and breast cancer survivors.
- American Cancer Society. (2021, January). Physical activity and cancer.
- American Cancer Society. (2021, January). Diet and cancer.
- American Cancer Society. (2021, January). Fruits and vegetables and cancer prevention.
- National Cancer Institute. (2021, January). Phytoestrogens and cancer.