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Breast Cancer & the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women, after lung cancer. Each year it is estimated that over 252,710 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die. On a better note, over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the US today. With more research, medical advances, early diagnosis, and more prevention efforts this number is set to increase!

There is a diverse range of causes and risk factors leading to breast cancer. Diet is one of the risk factors that we can control and has the potential to be really important. With chronic inflammation being an important factor in the development of diseases such as, diabetes and of certain types of cancer, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can be important to breast cancer prevention.

When looking to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet for breast cancer prevention, look for foods with the following qualities.

High in Dietary Fiber
Foods that are high in dietary fiber help our digestive system and support a regular elimination of waste. In turn, this leads to the elimination of toxins which help limit the damage they can cause in our bodies. Some anti-inflammatory foods that are high in dietary fiber include:

  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Edamame

Healthy Fats
Fats are not typically found on a list of whatā€™s good for preventing breast cancer, but if you choose the right ones they can be beneficial. For example, omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in anti-inflammatory protein sources such as, salmon and herring, have been linked to reducing risk of breast cancer.

High in Antioxidants
High antioxidant levels support both lowering inflammation and risk of breast cancer. Foods with high antioxidant levels are usually bright in color and have a lot of flavor! These include:

  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Orange-colored vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes
  • Green tea

If you want to find out if your diet is anti-inflammatory, check out DII-on-Demandā„¢, an in-depth, online food frequency questionnaire that generates a DIIĀ® score calculated by CHI scientists.