Teenage Fruit Consumption Linked with Lower Breast Cancer Risk
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s never too early to lower your risk. In fact, a 2016 study published in the BMJ suggests the foods you eat in your teenage years may affect your risk of cancer later in life. The major finding: Eat more fruit.
Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, Harvard researchers studied about 44,000 adult women. Participants answered questions about how much fruit they ate during high school. For the next 15 years, women were monitored for breast cancer development.
Women who ate the most fruit during high school (about 3 servings per day) saw a 25% lower risk of breast cancer compared with women who ate the least amount of fruit (about half a serving per day). Bananas, apples and grapes had the greatest effect on lowering risk.
Why might this be? We know that fruit provides a whole package of nutrition including vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phytonutrients (like carotenoids and flavonoids) and fiber. Together, these bioactive components may make fruit the ultimate food for keeping the body cancer-free. Other foods that have been linked to lower risk of breast cancer include broccoli, nuts, celery and cabbage, plus foods that contain choline such as potatoes and cauliflower.
Add more fruit to your diet by starting your day with our Blueberry and Banana Pie Oatmeal, a fun and nutritious morning meal.
BONUS: Plums and peaches may be especially beneficial, as extracts from these fruits have been shown to selectively target and kill aggressive breast cancer cells.
Published October 1, 2016