We all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but that doesn't mean you should only look after your breast health for one month of the year. Looking after the health of your breasts all year round can help you detect any potentially harmful changes sooner. One of the best ways to support breast health -- and your overall wellness -- is through your diet. Eating a balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, good fats, fruits and vegetables can do wonders to fortify the body's natural defenses.
These 10 foods, as mentioned in our previous post about the risk factors for breast cancer and tips for prevention, can help you do just that:
1. Quinoa -- Whole grains like quinoa offer up protein and minerals like iron for muscles and circulation. Cooked quinoa can be used in a number of ways, making it a very versatile grain. We like to combine it with cinnamon, apples and a little maple syrup for a satisfying breakfast.
2. Brown Rice -- Brown rice is a great way to add more fiber to your diet to stabilize blood sugar. Make brown rice your new go-to side dish or a base for a rice bowl. Top it with fresh avocado and salmon (grilled, broiled, smoked or raw) and you have a lunch that will keep you full and energized to help you skip the afternoon slump.
3. Green Tea -- Green tea is known for boosting health due to the presence of the antioxidant EGCG. Antioxidants protect the body's cells as well as the immune system. Swap out your morning coffee for green tea for the caffeine boost you crave along with the nutritional benefits. You can also try matcha green tea.
4. Flax Seeds -- These tiny seeds are packed with lignans, which have antioxidant properties. Toss some flax seeds into the blender for your morning smoothie or sprinkle them onto a salad for some additional crunch.
5. Milk -- Drinking milk (dairy or non dairy) provides protein, vitamins like vitamin D as well as minerals like calcium. You can enjoy a glass of milk as a recovery drink following your workout for the health of your joints and muscles as well.
6. Salmon -- Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found within salmon and are considered a good fat that benefits the heart, brain and much more. You can try the brown rice bowl mentioned above or just enjoy salmon on its own with a side of veggies.
7. Oranges -- Oranges are one of the best sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system as well as tissue health. Go for whole, raw oranges instead of bottled juice to get its benefits. Orange juice can be as high in sugar as soda.
8. Tomatoes -- Lycopene is the best-known antioxidant found within tomatoes that gives them their nutrient boost. Lycopene is said to become more prevalent in tomatoes when they're cooked for a bit, so make your own tomato soup or sauce to top whole-grain pasta.
9. Kale -- You can also get vitamin C as well as minerals from dark, leafy greens like kale. Toss some ripped-up kale leaves into the oven and let them crisp as a much better alternative to potato chips. Use your favorite seasonings to up the flavor factor.
10. Turmeric -- The active compound within turmeric root known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is curcumin. A winning combination is turmeric root added to butternut squash or sweet potato soup to provide a subtle curry flavor.
Try adding these foods to your diet on a more regular basis and you'll be giving your entire body -- as well as your breasts -- the nutritional support it needs.
Related Articles:Breast Cancer Risk Factors, PreventionVitex for Female Health10 Foods to Try in the New Year