Mediterranean Diet and Vegetables May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women after skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 230,000 cases are diagnosed annually in women. In addition, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors.

Understanding Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is usually referred to as a malignant tumor that has developed in the breast. Usually, the breast cancer is found in the ducts, the passages that is responsible for producing milk. According to breastcancer.org, doctors believe that breast cancer is largely due to genetic abnormalities.

While breast cancer is thought to impact women only, a small number of men are also diagnosed with breast cancer. Therefore, it is important to take any and all steps to mitigate risks of being diagnosed with breast cancer. This means getting regular check-ups, having a healthy weight and eating balanced meals. Recently, news emerged that eating vegetables on a regular basis may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

According to a new study, women who consumed a Mediterranean diet characterized with generous amounts of heart-healthy fats including olive oils, vegetables, fish and low in meats, dairy or sugar decreased their chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer by a whopping 68%! The study targeted women who had a high risk for heart disease. This study involved 4200 women and found that 35 participants eventually developed breast cancer. Caught in its early stages, cancer can be mitigated, put into submission or even eradicated. The study did not put into account whether or not the participants exercised regularly or not. However, the initial results are promising.

he study targeted women who had a high risk for heart disease. This study involved 4200 women and found that 35 participants eventually developed breast cancer. Caught in its early stages, cancer can be mitigated, put into submission or even eradicated. The study did not put into account whether or not the participants exercised regularly or not. However, the initial results are promising.

How the Mediterranean Diet Can Help

Mediterranean Diet and Vegetables May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Eating vegetables, specifically cruciferous vegetables is an important key factor in mitigating breast cancer (and other important health concerns). Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale among others. They are important to cancer prevention because they are rich in nutrients, beta-carotene and lutein. According to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables:

  • Help protect cells from DNA damage.
  • Have antiviral and antibacterial effects.
  • Have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Inactivate carcinogens.

Consuming a Mediterranean diet is by no means the only way to mitigate the risks. Of course, the benefit to living a heart-healthy lifestyle has benefits beyond decreasing risks of developing breast cancer. A Spanish study in 2013 found that consuming a Mediterranean diet resulted in lowering heart disease risks by 30%.

The big takeaway from this recent study demonstrates at least a correlation of factors that provides a buffer of protection against major diseases. We should be eating healthy foods to nourish our bodies. But given our hectic lifestyles, it's quite easy to pick up processed foods. But just by devoting a few more minutes can prolong our lives.

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