by Naomi Draves
According to breastcancer.org, one in eight women in the U.S. will be
diagnosed with breast cancer. There is no better time than
October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to start protecting yourself
and the women in your life.
Breast cancer is a change in the genes that keep cells healthy.
In the case of breast cancer, this change occurs in the cells of the
breast. It is known that breast cancer is an inherited genetic
problem, but about 90 percent of breast cancer is a result of aging and
the environment in which we live.
So, how can we protect ourselves from breast cancer? It can be as
simple as the food we eat and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise is
a key component to maintaining a healthy weight. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults engage in at least
two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each
week and strength training activities at least twice a week. More
information on exercise recommendations can be found at http://www.cdc.gov.
Food also is an important part of weight maintenance and disease
prevention. A low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the
risk of breast cancer.
Fruits and vegetables contain compounds called phytochemicals which are
a living, active part of plants. Phytochemicals protect the
body’s cells from oxidative damage, thus helping protect against
cancer. Other beneficial components found in fruits vegetables are
antioxidants, which help protect cells from free radicals. Normal
contact with pollution, such as cigarette smoke in daily living may
activate cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Antioxidants
work to reverse this effect.
While people cannot change their genetics, individuals can provide
their bodies with the right fuel to fight cancer. Throughout October,
make it a goal to choose nutrient-dense foods rich in antioxidants and
phytochemicals. Fall foods such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash,
apples, carrots, broccoli and cranberries are high in these cancer
Consider Web sites such as http://www.cookinglight.com and http://www.eatingwell.com for tasty recipes like the one below, and start incorporating these foods into your diet today.
Pumpkin or Banana Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. honey
1 ½ cup buttermilk
1 cup bananas (peeled, mashed) or pumpkin (prepared)
Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat liquid ingredients
together until smooth. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry
ingredients. Cook and enjoy.
Friday, Oct. 16, 2009