Breast Cancer Survivor Diet
I came across this article on the Livestrong website by Megan Ashton and just had to share it with you…
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. If you are a breast cancer survivor, a diet low in processed foods and high in protein, fiber, omega-3 essential fatty acids and other important nutrients can strengthen your immune system and may help improve the length and quality of your life.
Limit or Avoid Alcohol
Numerous studies have confirmed that the consumption of alcoholic beverages increases the risk of certain types of breast cancer and may be especially risky for postmenopausal women. The 2010 “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” cited a study that found a significant association between regular alcohol consumption and risk for invasive breast cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma and hormone receptor-positive tumors in postmenopausal women. Breast cancer survivors should limit their alcohol intake as much as possible and avoid exceeding two alcoholic beverages in one day.
Reduce or Eliminate Processed Foods
It is also important for breast cancer survivors to obtain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, MSKCC suggests speaking to your doctor about a healthy weight loss diet. Cornell University reports that the consumption of a diet high in processed foods and baked goods, such as white bread, croissants, chips, muffins and doughnuts, has been linked to a decreased survival rate in breast cancer patients. These foods should be avoided or limited because the hydrogenated oils found in them can cause free radical-induced damage to your cells. In addition, your body requires a delicate balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids for good health, and the consumption of hydrogenated oils can offset that balance.
Fruits, Vegetables and Fiber
To support breast cancer recovery and optimize your health, MSKCC says to consume a diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables and adequate in fiber. Cornell University says that more research needs to be done, but preliminary evidence suggests that breast cancer survivors who eat more fiber and vegetables have a lower risk of death than women who eat less of these foods and nutrients. Aim to consume at least 35 g of fiber per day; that amount can be found in approximately 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits and 1.5 cups of whole grains, according to MSKCC. The color of fruits and vegetables is often indicative of their specific nutrient content. For instance, deep orange, red and yellow vegetables, such as carrots, squash and red peppers, are high in vitamin A. It is important to get a wide variety of nutrients. An easy way to do so is to choose produce from all of the different color groups.
Good Protein and Fatty-Acid Sources
Cornell University reported on the Nurses Health Study, which tracked the diet of 1,982 breast cancer survivors. The “women who ate the largest amounts of poultry, total protein and omega-3 fatty acids had a statistically lower risk of death than the women who ate the least amounts of these foods,” the report stated. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in flax seed and in cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout. For health-supporting purposes, aim to consume two to three servings of these fish per week.
About the Author: Megan Ashton
Megan Ashton began writing professionally in 2010. When she isn’t writing, she works with clients as the owner of Total Health & Hypnotherapy. She graduated from Western University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications then continued her education at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, where she became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Megan is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist.