By: Taren Vaughan
Combating breast cancer has been an ongoing process for quite some time now. From developing new medications for patients to take and putting them through rounds of chemotherapy, researchers continue to formulate new ways to fight the disease. As there are currently many forms of treatment out here for breast cancer, it has been discovered that the potentially deadly disease can be prevented by making one simple change to your diet. And that is adding by a little greenery to it.
For most of us, this is an essential part of Sunday or Thanksgiving dinners. So the likelihood that we already consume these is pretty high. The only problem is that while we may eat collard greens on a frequent basis, the other foods that we eat them or the spices that we add to them ourselves to give them that extra kick may not be as healthy. Keeping the collard greens as pure as possible will increase their chances of fighting against breast cancer development.
Another food that is often a side item when it comes to our home cooked meals is cabbage. Cabbage contains the chemical component indole-3-carbinol. Indole-3-carbinol fights breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a protective variety versus a harmful one. But just like collard greens, the purer the better.
Whether it be stemmed or fresh, broccoli has also been noted a good vegetable to help reduce breast cancer development. Although broccoli as a whole can help reduce the risk, their sprouts actually pack the most punch. The sprouts contain high levels of the chemical sulforaphane, which helps with the production of enzymes that cause the deactivation of carcinogens, cancer-causing substances.
Not only are they good for your vision, but carrots have been noted as being one of the vegetables that helps reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Containing high amounts of beta carotene, carrots have also been proven to reduce the risk of other forms of cancer including lung, prostate and various cancers of the mouth. They also contain a substance called falcarinol. When exposed to falcarinol, cancer cells have a difficult time growing. Unlike broccoli, carrots must not be cooked as they lose their effectiveness if they are.
After taking into consideration some of the recreational activities that a number of African American women engage in like smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, the effectiveness of eating these particular vegetables seems to remain significant. Eating vegetables has been shown to be more beneficial for black women than white women. While these foods have been said to lower African American females’ chances of developing breast cancer, Dr. Deborah A. Boggs, a researcher at Boston University, stated that the rate at which we consume them is simply not enough:
“Most Americans do not meet the recommendation of five servings of vegetables per day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and African Americans in particular eat fewer vegetables on average than do whites.”
Now we have no problem fulfilling the other areas of the food pyramid. But we seem to fall short in an area that could potentially save our lives? It’s time to make some changes in our diets ladies. We need to make some adjustments not only for the mere purposes of looking good in a dress but to prevent us from developing diseases that can do us bodily harm or shorten our lifespan. Vegetables are not always the most tempting foods out there. But the benefits of eating them most certainly are.