Going “green” is the latest health tip that can improve your health and reduce your risk for cancer—especially breast cancer. Greens add antioxidants that can fight free radicals and also provide necessary fiber. Here are four powerful “greens” that reduce your risk for breast cancer:
It’s not a secret that green tea is loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. These three properties all reduce cancer risk. Besides being packed with flavonoids, green tea also contains polyphenols and catechins such as EGCG that protect your heart and lower LDL cholesterol. According to Dr. David Jockers, EGCG is inexpensive and induces apoptosis, supporting the destruction of cancer cells. The results of an Italian meta-analysis showed a potential protective effect of green tea consumption on breast cancer, especially for breast cancer recurrence. However, there are other studies that show no benefit.
Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, the Camellia sinensis plant. However, it’s grown differently and has a unique nutrient profile. Matcha contains the nutrients from the entire tea leaf ground into a powder, which results in a greater amount of caffeine and antioxidants than regular green tea. In my opinion, the taste of matcha is not appealing to my taste buds, but I can put a teaspoon into my smoothie or another drink to hide that taste. Be cautious about the amount of caffeine if, like me, you get caffeine jitters.
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts.
Both of these greens contain a high amount of sulphoraphane, a compound known to remove cancer-causing chemicals from the body while increasing our body’s protective enzymes. Just one clump of broccoli sprouts contains as much cancer-fighting power as a bowl of broccoli. This is why I grow my own sprouts inexpensively and use my smoothie to hide the taste. Some people love these power-packed nutrients, but I am not one of them. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables to order at a restaurant because they are known to have a low pesticide residue.
Spinach, kale, and bok choy are dark leafy greens that contain breast cancer-fighting antioxidants. Cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, Brussel sprouts, etc. have been shown to decrease the estrogen metabolite 16alpha-hydroxyestrone. This is the strong estrogen with carcinogenic potential. The compounds in cruciferous vegetables have also been shown to increase the effects of chemotherapy. The American Cancer Society has been promoting cruciferous vegetables for cancer prevention since 1984. As a result, I use one cup daily in my smoothie along with a clump of sprouts. This gives me 2 servings of cruciferous vegetables each day for cancer prevention.
Whether you have breast cancer, desire to prevent it in the first place, or just don’t want it coming back, it’s best to “green” up your diet. We can use nutrition to reduce our risk of breast cancer by adding greens that are nutrient-dense and packed with cancer-fighting abilities. There are many other greens that you can use, but these four greens are powerful in reducing your breast cancer risk.
What are the ways you use to “green” up your diet?
For Your Health,