The research is pretty clear that staying a healthy weight lowers postmenopausal women’s risk of breast cancer. Now a new study suggests that regularly eating a diet high in the foods that help you stay at that healthy weight – fruits, vegetables and other plant foods – may by itself lower risk of breast cancer.
The link to lower risk was most pronounced for tumors that are not fueled by hormones. These breast cancers are less common, but more challenging to treat.
Going into the study, researchers looked to get away from individual foods and nutrients and focus on dietary pattern, which looks at the overall types of foods we regularly eat. Almost 100,000 women answered questionnaires about what they ate, along with genetic and other risk factors. Five dietary patterns emerged:
1) plant based: lots of fruits and vegetables
2) high-protein, high-fat: lots of meat, eggs, butter and fried foods
3) high carbohydrate: lots of pasta, bread and convenience foods
4) ethnic: lots of legumes, soy-based foods, rice and dark green leafy vegetables
5) salad and wine: high in lettuce with low-fat dressing, fish, wine, coffee and tea Continue reading →
Research already shows that physical activity reduces the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Now a new study attempting to better understand this link has found that walking for an hour a day reduces a woman’s risk, regardless of your weight, estrogen use or other factors linked with increased risk.
As previous research has shown, this study found that more activity offers more protection for postmenopausal breast cancer.
For the study, researchers gathered data from almost 74,000 women who were ages 50 to 74 when they enrolled 19 to 20 years ago. At the start, the women answered questions about their activity habits, weight, hormone use and other risk factors. They updated the information periodically until the study ended in 2009. By that time, 4,760 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Almost one of every ten women reported they were not active at all. Almost half said walking was their only recreational activity. Continue reading →
On a chilly morning when you want a special treat, bypass the fatty pastries and warm up with our Health-e-Recipe for Creamy Quinoa Oat Porridge.
It’s a delicious way to eat quinoa, a whole grain that supplies a hefty amount of protein (8 grams) and fiber (5 grams) per cup cooked. This recipe mixes it with oats to smooth out the texture and sweetens it with apple, almond milk, cider, cinnamon and maple syrup.
All plant foods contain dietary fiber, found by AICR’s report and its continuous updates to show strong evidence of colon cancer prevention. Fiber also causes gut bacteria to produce a substance called butyrate, which may help prevent cancer in the digestive tract. Whole grains like quinoa and oats are filling and more slowly digested than refined carbs (sugar and refined grains), so your energy lasts longer and blood sugar stays on an even keel.
Flaxseed is another potential cancer-fighting food, with possibly able to ward off breast cancer. Here, it puts a finishing touch on what is already a super-healthy breakfast. (Chopped walnuts are a cancer-fighting substitute if you can’t find ground flaxseed.)
Find more excellent healthy recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.