Ode to Moms: Staying Abreast of Nutrition and Breast Cancer

Race for the Cure 2011 Philadelphia

This post is in honor of all of those women and men who walked yesterday on Mother’s Day for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure www.komen.org in Philadelphia. At 7am Eakins Oval and the Philadelphia Art Museum was packed with 6,000 breast cancer survivors supported by a pink parade of 40,000 participants. This incredible fundraiser raises thousands of dollars for breast cancer research each year.

The statistics predict that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Here are five important healthy breast nutrition tips for women.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight- avoid weight gain and increases in waist circumference.
Being overweight increase the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. The more overweight a woman becomes-the higher the risk for breast cancer. The Nurses’ Health Study www.channing.harvard.edu/nhs/ showed that just a mere 22 pound increase in weight since age 18 years resulted in a 30 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those women who just gained 5 pounds. In addition obese women have a 50 percent greater risk of breast cancer.

2. Limit Alcohol Consumption – studies show that just having one alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of breast cancer by 9%. The Center for Disease Control Guidelines www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm suggest that women not exceed more than one drink per day and men not more than two drinks per day.

3. Breastfeeding is Best – a history of breastfeeding a child decreases the risk of getting both pre and postmenopausal breast cancer. http://breastcancer.about.com/od/riskfactorsindetail/a/breastfd_prevnt.htm. So have that newborn latch on for at least 6 months if not for up to one year.

4. Exercise- shoot for at least one hour a day of brisk walking. The Nurses’ Health Study found that breast cancer patients who walk or do other kinds of moderate exercise for three to five hours a week are about 50 percent less likely to die from the disease than sedentary women. Other studies from the National Cancer Institute show that exercising may decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk. www.komen.org

5. Maintain a Healthy Diet –
Consume a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes.
Get 6 ounces of omega three fish at least twice per week: High in omega and environmentally friendly sources are: Wild Salmon from Alaska, Artic Char, Atlantic Mackerel, Sardines, Black Cod and Farmed Rainbow or Golden Trout.
Eat nine-eleven servings a day of fruits and vegetables: especially those that contain high antioxidants like citrus fruits and dark green veggies.
Keep fats healthy by consuming more mono unsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil and safflower oil.
Eat fats high in omega threes 1 oz walnuts and 2 Tbsp ground flax seed each day.
Choose whole wheat, oatmeal or brown rice over simple “white” grains for more fiber.
Include a daily source of calcium such as yogurt, low fat cheeses, kefir, almonds and dark greens.
Source: Environmental Nutrition/vol.22/no.10