October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – no better time to blog about reducing your risk of breast cancer! A healthy, active lifestyle is the way to go.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer: female gender, family history of breast cancer, menstruation before age 12, menopause after age 55, inherited gene mutations, pregnancy of first child after age 35, overweight, and old age. These risk factors do not make cancer unavoidable, research has shown that leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk.
Foods high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients have been shown to be beneficial:
— Cruciferous and Dark Leafy Green Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, dark lettuces
— Fruits: citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, etc), berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc), cherries
— The Allium Family: garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, chives
— Whole Grains: oats, barley, bulgur, and whole-grain products (bread, pasta, rice, cereals, crackers)
— Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, soybeans
Since weight is a risk factor, engaging in regular physical activity is also beneficial in addition to eating well. For best health and to maintain a healthy weight, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical 5 days a week.
As always, see your doctor regularly!