As a contract foodservices company with a focus on nutrition and healthy eating, we would like to take this opportunity to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which begins October 1 and goes through October 31. Breast cancer affects countless families, and even one person who is impacted is one too many. There are several things you can do to reduce the risk, and there’s also nutrition trips designed for those who are patients or survivors of breast cancer.
What can you do to cut your risk of developing breast cancer? If you smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for your health in general, however, the evidence is mounting that it could be linked to breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.
Alcohol is another factor. Studies have shown that consuming alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. To reduce this risk, limit alcohol to 5 or 6 drinks per week, maximum, and never more than one drink in one day.
Get moving! Exercising for 30 minutes, 5 days per week is all it takes to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Being physically active is your primary goal, however, it doesn’t hurt to lose weight if you’re a bit overweight, as obesity is also a factor in breast cancer.
Don’t overdo it with hormone therapy. Many women take hormones as they enter menopause, and even for the duration. Hormone therapy can be beneficial, however, it’s also dangerous and increases the risk of breast cancer significantly, according to some experts. Consider other options, and use the lowest possible dose that’s effective if you must take hormone therapy.
What are the best foods to eat for those who are current breast cancer patients or survivors? According to John Hopkins Medical, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may prevent cancer, as many contain phytochemicals with antiestrogen, chemopreventive, and antioxidant properties. Some of the best foods to eat for those who want to prevent breast cancer, or for patients/survivors, include:
- Broccoli, collards, turnips, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard
- Pinto, kidney, or other dried beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and other legumes
- Allium vegetables, including chives, onion, and garlic
It’s also important to include whole grains in the diet, and reduce fat intake. Increase the amount of fish, poultry, and beans you eat, while reducing ice cream, beef, cheese, organ meats, and other foods high in saturated fats.
Take care, and hopefully one day we’ll beat breast cancer!
Gourmet Services, Inc. is a contract foodservices management company providing outstanding quality in service, ingredients, nutrition, and more for corporate dining, airport concessions, K-12 and college dining, retail restaurants, and more.