The Relationship Between Diet & Disease
What, exactly, is the relationship between diet and disease? Can the food that you ingest on a daily basis really make a difference?
Avoid Meat, Eat Plants
Eat plants. This is the general consensus in cancer research today.
Through a 20-year research project, commonly referred to as The China Study (or China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project), researchers identified 8,000 significant associations between diet and disease.
What you put into your body matters. It can create health or disease.
The China Study found that “most people who had plant-based diets were healthier” than their counterparts who had animal-based diets.
“Don’t worry so much about pesticides and chemicals found on vegetables and fruits, you don’t necessarily need to buy organic if you cannot afford it,” says Nancy Bulcha, M.P.H., R.N. and breast cancer survivor. “Just begin to eat in a way that can repair and prevent” the disease your body is fighting. “Good diets help fend off cancer. The body is quite resilient and can fight if given the right foods.”
Top 10 Breast Cancer-Fighting Foods
Many of these are folate-rich foods: “A recent study found that women with the highest folate levels had a 44% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest folate levels.” So, you can begin making changes to your diet in order to build up the folate levels in your body. Ideally, you should try to consume 1-2 servings of folate-rich foods a day.
Our pick for the Top 10 Breast Cancer-Fighting Foods:
5. Flax seeds
7. Green tea
9. Beans: Lentils, black beans, kidney beans
10. Green veggies: Broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce
A great way to add some plants to your diet is to drink green smoothies! The famous Dr. Joel Fuhrman from The Dr. Oz Show and author of Eat to Live is a big proponent of green smoothies as a way to integrate some of those folate-rich foods into your diet. Naked Juice also makes an excellent Green Machine which you can pick up in the refrigerator section of your local grocery store.
Another way to drink green, is to set your tea kettle to whistle and enjoy a cup of green tea. According to breastcancer.org, green tea can serve as a natural antioxidant “that may prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer”. The recommended amount of green tea per day? Three to four cups.
Oatmeal + Toast for Breakfast: Use Fiber to Fight Breast Cancer
Grab a silver spoon, a bowl of oatmeal, and a piece of high-fiber toast for breakfast.
Bulking up on fiber is an effective way to prevent and fight breast cancer. Why is this? High-fiber diets lower estrogen levels which decrease your risk of breast cancer. Fiber is commonly found in fruits, vegetables, greens, and whole grains.
Take Small Steps to Change Your Diet
Remember: don’t feel overwhelmed by these recommendations. Take small steps to integrate your favorite foods from these lists. Taste and try some out, see what you like, and begin to make small changes in your diet on a daily basis.