Breast Cancer Prevention - Healthy food choices

22 October, 2013 0 comments Leave a comment

     

     Breast Cancer awareness month is now upon us, so we at Elementz Nutrition believe it is important to inform our readers about the severity and prevalence of this disease, and the widespread pain and grief that is causes within our society.  Breast cancer has reached widespread proportions.  According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer affects nearly 1 woman every 3 minutes in the United States (or 1 in 8 women).  It continues to affect women under the age of 45 at an alarming rate of almost a 12% increase every year.  

     Breast cancer can be a culmination of many different factors; genetics, diet, environmental and lifestyle.  Balancing a healthy lifestyle with healthy nutritional choices is the key to many different cancer preventions.  What we have to realize, is that symptoms present themselves within the body because of underlying deficiencies.  For example, you wouldn’t paint green leaves on a dying plant and say that the plant is now cured.  Understanding some root causes of disease is paramount to understanding how we can help to control the diseases that present themselves in our lives.  Lets review some of the risk factors and how we can potentially eliminate or reduce the risk.  

     In 2008, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) research detected 287 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Of that total, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development.  According to the EPA, it has been estimated that the human body is exposed to over 70,000 different toxins and chemicals in the environment, and each year an additional 1,000 chemicals are continuing to be produced.  Therefore, it is our belief that there needs to be resources to help people eliminate these toxins from the body as well as provide people with the nutritional education to help defend against cancer formation.  

Make sure your diet includes these items, in future articles we will look deeper into supplementation and detoxification:

     We must understand that whole foods contain vast amounts of vitamins and minerals that work in synergy to optimize balance within the body.  When looking at these items, we must also realize there is a synergistic effect of using more than one of these suggestions at a time:

  1. Alkalize your body – A loss of equilibrium in the body causes a disruption in the acid / base balance within the body.  A healthy pH balance – the ratio of alkalinity to acidity in the body – is crucial to being cancer-free.  Cancer thrives in acidic environments, but is unable to survive in alkaline environments

    1. Consume plant based foods - cruciferous vegetables lower levels of estrogen which has a substantial role in tumor growth

      1. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts and collards

  1. Minerals – Science has proven that more than 80% of the causes of cancers are associated with deficiencies in trace minerals.  Trace minerals act as catalysts for 100’s of enzymatic reactions within the body.  They help your body produce neurotransmitters, hormones, aid in digestion and other bodily functions.

     Trace minerals are essential for good health.  Due to poor farming techniques and pesticide use, minerals are no longer prevalent in many of the foods that we consume on a daily basis.  Therefore, we believe a trace mineral supplement is vital to health, well-being as well as performance.  Several studies identify that selenium supplementation possesses definite anti-cancer characteristics.  Selenium can disrupt cancer development by acting as an antioxidant, an enzyme nourisher, and as an immune system booster.  Zinc is another mineral that is utilized in 100’s of enzymatic reactions and has been shown to have an immune boosting effect on the body.

      Food Sources of Selenium                     Food Sources of Zinc

Brewers yeast

Garlic

Oysters

Whole grain oats

Apple cider vinegar

Almonds

Ginger Root

Cinnamon

Whole grain oats

Kidney beans

Walnuts

Almonds

  1. Vitamin D – over 1/3 of the population is deficient in Vitamin D.  According to Science Daily, vitamin D can protect woman from breast cancer by stimulating a protein that prevents breast cancer cells from growing.  Vitamin D has other roles as well, including neuromuscular and immune functions as well as a reduction in inflammation.  

         Food Sources of Vitamin D

Cod liver oil

Egg Yolks

Salmon

Grass-fed cows milk

  1. Vitamin C – According to Thomas Levy, M.D. “Vitamin C is the single most important nutrient substance for the body.  Just as dehydration requires water, poor electron flow – a primary characteristic of the diseased state – requires vitamin C.” Please see study below, which shows the powerful effects of vitamin C in the war on disease states.

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/174/7/937.full.pdf+html

        Food Sources of Vitamin C

Red Peppers

Guavas

Kale

Citrus Fruits

Parsley

Spinach

  1. Drink Green tea – Tea is one of the oldest and most popular drinks consumed throughout the world.   Tea contains polyphenol compounds, catechins and antioxidants that have been shown to have cancer preventative effects.   The EGCG in green tea has significant free radical scavenging activity and can protect cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can cause DNA damage within cells (1).  Green tea has also been shown to activate detoxification enzymes, which can help protect against cancer cell development.

References:

  1. Steele VE, Kelloff GJ, Balentine D, et al. Comparative chemopreventive mechanisms of green tea, black tea and selected polyphenol extracts measured by in vitro bioassays. Carcinogenesis2000; 21(1):63–67.


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