Meet fellow blogger, Susan Messenger. Susan and I met on Instagram admiring each other’s progress in our postnatal journeys with Baby #2. Susan is a Registered Dietician, so with this month being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I invited Susan to share her suggestions on the best foods to eat in hopes of preventing breast cancer.
As a dietitian, I know a thing or two about healthy eating, but as a mom of two little ones, I also know healthy eating can sometimes be tough. I just had my second baby girl this past May. I remember there were days (mostly the ones when I’d had only three hours of sleep the night before) that I felt like I was doing well if I was able to sit down and have a bowl of cereal for dinner (because at least I was sitting down while I ate!). The days I did eat healthy foods, there was rarely any variety. I’m pretty sure the only vegetables I ate for the first two months were bagged lettuce with baby carrots – my “salad.” Fortunately, the baby is now sleeping better and I’m back to eating like I want to be. Breast Cancer Awareness Month really couldn’t come at a better time.
Did you know one of the most important things you can do for breast cancer prevention is to eat right? Keep in mind, eating for prevention is more than just “eating healthy.” There’s research showing that certain foods might actually help decrease your risk of breast cancer. More studies need to be done, but this October I’m making an effort to stock my kitchen with the following:
1. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, turnips)
These veggies are packed with substances called glucosinolates, which are thought to have anti-cancer properties.
2. Soy (tofu, soy milk, edamame)
Some studies have shown that eating soy can lower your risk of breast cancer. The verdict is still a little questionable whether it is actually the soy that lowers the risk, or if it is something else in the lifestyle of people who eat a lot of soy that lowers it. Regardless, soy is a great source of calcium and protein that may very well help with breast cancer prevention. Just remember: everything in moderation!
3. Red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables (apples, carrots, peppers)
These yummy friends have carotenoids in them, which have been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.
4. Peaches and plums
Polyphenols, or chemicals naturally found in these fruits, may actually kill certain breast cancer cells. Choose fresh ones…studies found them to be more powerful than canned.
And of course, there’s always the foods to stay away from. The biggest confer for breast cancer is alcohol. Multiple studies show all types of alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer by raising estrogen levels in the body.
In addition to diet, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight are very important for breast cancer prevention. Sounds like a good time to go pop in my “Sweat Unlimited” DVD!
Susan Messenger is a Registered Dietitian and mother of two. Her interest in nutrition first developed from personal struggles with weight, and soon spread into a passion for teaching others to eat right. She has worked with clients ranging from weight loss to dialysis. Now a stay at home mom in Kentucky, Susan remains involved in nutrition through blogging, local talks, and working with her hardest client yet- her toddler! Check out her new blog Diet Suz!