Eating Right to PreventBy: Amy Bresciami, RD Clinical Nutrition Manager Eisenhower Medical Center
If you could reduce your risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer by adjusting your diet, would you do it? Of course, most of us would answer “yes,” yet we still don’t eat the right combination of foods that will help us reach that goal. There is mounting evidence that diet and body weight are strongly linked to prostate and breast cancer.
Eat Your Vegetables and FruitsVegetables and fruits contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium. These nutrients are antioxidants, which protect body cells from damage. They also help keep your immune system healthy, and may reduce your risk for cancer and other diseases. Most vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of fiber and phytochemicals, while also being low in fat. Lutein, found in broccoli and dark, leafy green vegetables, and lycopene, found in tomatoes, may be among the phytochemicals that play a role in fighting cancer.
Go for Legumes and Whole GrainsProstate and breast cancers are commonly hormonedependent cancers. Fiber can bind estrogen and testosterone in the intestine and remove it from circulation within the liver. Therefore, it is believed that the lowering of circulating estrogen or testosterone by fiber can protect against breast and prostate cancer. Try to consume more complex carbohydrate and fiberrich foods. Choose fruits with edible skins, legumes, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
Stay Physically Active and Keep TrimMaintain your own healthy weight by keeping calories under control. Obesity is linked to cancers of the breast, colon, gallbladder and uterus. The best approach to weight management is to stay physically active, control your portion sizes and follow the Food Guide Pyramid – eight to 11 daily servings of grains, three to five daily servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruit, two to three servings of dairy and protein and sparing use of fats and oils.
Consume More SoyCompounds called isoflavones, found mainly in soybeans, are present in the Asian diet but are virtually absent in the typical American diet. Men and women from Asian countries consume higher amounts of soy products than those in the United States and have a lower risk of breast and prostate cancer. Good sources of isoflavones include: tofu, flavored soymilk, soy nuts and soy beans.
Limit the FatHeart disease is not the only health risk related to a high fat diet. Cancers, including breast, colon and prostate, are also linked to high-fat diets – especially diets high in animal fat. Try consuming foods that are low in fat (especially saturated fat) and foods high in Omega 3 fats such as salmon, herring, flaxseed, spinach, soybeans and mustard greens.
Drink Tea Instead of CoffeeGreen and black teas contain chemicals known as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent damage caused by free radicals to DNA and other molecules.
Recipe Sensational Soy Shake 2 1/2 oz. soft or silken tofu (1/6 of a 1 lb. block) 3/4 cup soy milk 1 large carrot or 6-8 baby carrots 3/4 cup orange juice 3/4 cup fresh or frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) 1-2 tablespoons wheat bran 1-2 tablespoons wheat germ 1-2 tablespoons ground or whole flax seed Mix together in a blender for 1-2 minutes, then drink and enjoy! Per serving: (using 1 tablespoon each of flax seeds, wheat germ, wheat bran) Calories 450 kcal Protein 25 gm Fat 10 gm Fiber 14 gm Carb 65 mg Calcium 465 mg