The nutrient that could help cut your risk of a deadly breast cancer
Certain foods may help cut your risk of a deadly form of breast cancer by as much as 50%.
A diet rich in carotenoids—nutrients found in red-orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupe, and tomatoes—is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, especially an aggressive form affecting about 58,000 women every year, says a new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. (Work more red veggies into your diet with these 6 Tasty Tomato Recipes.)
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“Women with the highest blood levels of carotenoids had a 15 to 20% lower risk of developing all types of breast cancer and a 40 to 50% lower risk of developing estrogen-receptor negative [ER-] breast cancer,” says Heather Eliassen, ScD, lead study author. [ER-] breast cancer tumors are fast growing and don’t respond to the hormone therapy that is so successful in estrogen-receptor positive tumors.
“Some carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A, which helps regulate cell growth and death,” says Dr. Eliassen. “They’re also antioxidants, which help eliminate cancer-promoting free radicals.” Because blood levels of carotenoids are very responsive to diet changes, a good tip is to fill up half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables at each meal.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES Her Fitness Hut
Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.
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