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Foods that fight breast cancer?

Published On: Sep 16 2011 04:01:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 02 2010 10:15:00 AM CDT
Breast Cancer Survivor Eating Healthy Food

iStockPhoto/lisafx

Take a look at some of the foods that might help people fight breast cancer:

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and also contain beneficial enzymes.

Some cruciferous vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, daikon, kohlrabi, rutabaga, arugula and collard greens.

Onions, Garlic

While they may be odorous, alliums may protect you against cancer. When cooked and eaten with other foods, alliums including onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives can lower your insulin peaks, reduce inflammation and protect you against cancer. In particular, Dr. Richard Beliveau of the Charles-Bruneau Cancerology Center in Canada, found that garlic, leeks and green onions were among the top foods that inhibit breast cancer growth.

Herbs

Herbs may add flavor to your food, but they can also help fight cancer. In particular, turmeric, leafy herbs, apiums, alliums, cinnamon and ginger.

Turmeric is made from the plant curcuma longa, and is often used in yellow curry. Studies show that curcumin works as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer power.

Leafy herbs, such as mint, thyme, marjoram, oregano and basil, have strong fragrances due to fatty acids of terpenes. This substance helps fight tumors by encouraging cancer cells to kill themselves.

Apiums, such as parsley, contain apigenine, which is an oil that can inhibit blood vessels that give nutrients to tumors.

When cooked with other foods, alliums -- such as garlic -- can lower your insulin peaks which prevents uncontrolled cell growth and inflammation that may lead to cancer.

Cinnamon contains a flavonoid called proanthocyanidins, which works as an antioxidant and can starve cancer cells and slow tumor growth.

Ginger works to fight bacteria, inflammation and tumors. In some studies it also slowed the formation of blood vessels leading to the tumor and also reduced the metastasis of cancer cells.

Walnuts

Walnuts may provide the body with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients that reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a study.

Elaine Hardman of the Marshall University School of Medicine said that while her study was done with laboratory animals rather than humans, people should heed the recommendation to eat more walnuts.

"Walnuts are better than cookies, french fries or potato chips when you need a snack," said Hardman. "We know that a healthy diet overall prevents all manner of chronic diseases."

Hardman studied mice that were fed a diet that they estimated was the human equivalent of 2 ounces of walnuts per day. A separate group of mice were fed a control diet.

Testing showed that walnut consumption significantly decreased breast tumor incidence, the number of glands with a tumor and tumor size, according to a news release.

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