Fight Disease with Veggies and Exercise!

Hello Loyal Soup People! Last week I wrote about how diet and exercise can significantly reduce your risk of stroke. This week I learned about the connection between a healthy diet and lifestyle and breast cancer prevention. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), changes in diet and exercise could prevent nearly one in three cases of breast cancer occurrence. That is an extremely significant number.

According to AICR, a few lifestyle changes can have a major impact on your cancer risk:

– Eating vegetables. However, not only is it important to eat vegetables, but also to eat a wide variety. Many studies have shown that women with higher blood levels of carotenoids (compounds found in orange, yellow, red, and green vegetables) have a 25% lower risk of breast cancer than those with low carotenoid levels. Researchers don’t know if there is a specific type of carotenoid that is more effective, or if it is the total amount in your blood. Therefore, it is important to eat a lot of different types of produce. Eat the rainbow! Green spinach and kale, blue blueberries, red tomatoes, green, yellow, and red bell peppers… the list goes on and on. Cruciferous vegetables are also incredibly important. They include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, radishes, and cabbage.

– Eat a lot of fiber rich foods. Breast cancer usually develops over many years. The high fiber foods may begin protecting our system early in life and continue through middle age and beyond. Also, most high fiber plants are also abundant in protective nutrients, carotenoids, and phytochemicals.

– Embrace healthy fat. Many studies have shown that heart healthy fats can lower breast cancer risk. Don’t fear the olive oil and avocados! Add them to salads and sandwiches.

– Be wary of alcohol. Many studies show that women should limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day (12 ounces of beer / 5 ounces of wine / 1.5 ounces of liquor). Even such a small amount is linked to breast cancer risk. However, the more you drink, the greater the risk.

– Exercise. Even if your exercise isn’t resulting in weight loss, you should still keep moving. It affects hormones that can help lower the risk of breast and other cancers.

I’m not suggesting that diet and exercise will keep you healthy forever. There are so many factors that contribute to disease – genetics, environment, and much more! However, study after study shows that healthy eating and exercise can go quite a long way to help fight illness!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!