A breast cancer diet contains nutrients which help reduce mutations in cells of the breasts. Normally such a diet contains a lot of antioxidants. Antioxidants defend the body against free radicals which can affect cell division processes and cause mutations. A breast cancer diet also contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins also have antioxidant properties while vitamins like folic acid are essential in the formation of new cells and tissues. Minerals like calcium have been identified to help the body fight breast cancer and other forms of cancer like prostrate and colon cancer.
How the Breast Cancer Diet Works
When body cells use up oxygen, free radicals are formed as by-products. Free radicals reach with cell membranes through oxidation. This has a damaging effect on cells which can cause mutations. Antioxidants such as vitamin A, selenium and vitamin C remove antioxidants from the blood stream, thus helping prevent cancer. A breast cancer diet is rich in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps eliminate harmful toxins in the gastrointestinal tract before they get to the blood stream and cause cell mutations. Plants have natural substances which protect them and preserve their vibrant colors. Some of these substances have capabilities of slowing tumor growth.
What Experts Say about the Breast Cancer Diet
Experts say proper nutrition and diet are very important in many digestive diseases and cancers such as breast cancer. Experts say dietary fat may be one of the major contributors of the cancer causing process. It is therefore important to reduce the amount of fat in your diet. Trans fats have to be eliminated from the diet.
Pros and Cons to the Breast Cancer Diet
A cancer diet has many benefits as it can help you reduce the chances of getting this dreaded disease. Following a healthy diet is great, but such a diet may be very expensive. In many areas vegetables are relatively costly and following a vegetarian diet will cost you more as you will need to include a lot of items to carter for your protein requirements. Cancer diets have vegetables, some vegetables have anti-nutritional factors which prevent some of the nutrients in vegetables from being digested. A good example is glucosinolate which prevents iodine uptake and affects thyroid function. Glucosinolates are found in vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
Sample Breast Cancer Diet Meal Plan
At breakfast you can have low fat milk, oatmeal with dried fruits like sultanas. Have some fresh fruits like bananas, oranges and apples. Whole grain bread is ideal for making sandwiches. Reduce the amount of dairy products as they are high in fats and cholesterol.
At lunch you can have a sandwich or beans. You can also have salads on the side or yogurt as part of the meal. Flaxseed can also be included to help curb your appetite afterwards. Citrus fruits can be taken after the meal to boost your body’s antioxidants.
For dinner you can have pasta or rice. Fish or chicken is a good alternative to red meat. You can also have lettuce salad with tomato and onion. Use olive oil in place of vegetable oil. When using oil, use light vegetable oil. Have low fat ice cream for dessert with fruits like strawberries. You can also eat fruits like apples and grapes after the meal.
Between meals you can take dried fruits. Date fruits are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nuts like cashew and hazel nuts are great to eat between meals and also contain some good nutrients.