The Mediterranean diet may be beneficial in the prevention of breast cancer. This has been demonstrated by different studies over the last few years. In this article, we will show you the main reasons for these conclusions.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
There are scientific references since 1948. At that time, researcher Ancel Keys was conducting a study on coronary heart disease that showed a lower incidence in certain rural regions of Europe and Japan. These areas had in common a physically active lifestyle and were noted for their high consumption of vegetable products and minimal meat intake.
Keys called it
or Mediterranean style, which became the Mediterranean diet. In essence, it was defined by the majority consumption of the following foods:
- Foods that are prepared and seasoned simply without elaborate sauces.
- Vegetables, with small portions of beef and chicken.
- Whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts.
- Foods with significant amounts of fiber.
- Extra virgin olive oil as the main source of fat.
Why can the Mediterranean diet help you fight breast cancer?
A balanced diet is essential for your health and disease prevention. In fact, the risk of breast carcinogenesis is higher if the diet is rich in unhealthy or saturated fats. In this sense, the Mediterranean diet provides you with antioxidants that act against free radicals, as well as fiber in adequate proportions.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (EJCN) suggests that consuming virgin olive oil, either raw or cooked, prevents the onset of breast cancer. The protective substances remain in this liquid and its consumption can reduce the risk of breast carcinogenesis by 28%. In addition, extra virgin olive oil in salads has a protective effect, but only in moderate amounts.
On the other hand, fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines and tuna, are an important source of omega-3 acids that help fight inflammation in the body. As a result, scientific studies have investigated and linked the polyunsaturated fat in these foods with positive results against colon cancer. Specifically, patients who ate oily fish were 41% less likely to die from the disease. In addition, omega-3s also help reduce the risk of heart attack and cerebrovascular disease.
Consuming vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes and reducing the intake of sugars and carbohydrates reduces insulin levels. There is increasing evidence linking the hormone insulin to breast carcinogenesis.
The reasons for the positive impact of the Mediterranean diet on risk reduction
It is estimated that 18% of cancer cases may be due to poor diet and low physical activity. In that sense, the Mediterranean diet will help you to reduce this percentage thanks to the properties of the products that compose it:
- Vegetables and fresh fruit: Rich in vitamin A, iron, calcium and folic acid. They strengthen the immune system and help prevent disease.
- Fish and legumes: They allow us to opt for a healthy protein source and avoid the intake of red and processed meats. They include lentils, beans, chickpeas, white and blue fish, among others.
- Cereals: Whole grains provide high amounts of fiber, as well as vitamin B, iron, folate, potassium, selenium and magnesium.
- Extra virgin olive oil: An excellent source of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids.
- Yogurt or kefir: Rich in probiotics that act beneficially on the intestinal flora.
The importance of nutrition and natural products
Nutrition is a basic pillar to deal positively with breast carcinogenesis. In this sense, the Mediterranean diet can play a relevant role. Physical exercise, a balanced diet, as well as giving up tobacco and alcohol consumption, reduce the risk of contracting the disease. The GEICAM (Spanish Breast Cancer Research Group Foundation) food guide can be a very valuable and interesting support for affected women. However, it should be clarified that there is no food that alone can cure cancer. The only thing we can talk about is prevention and help through healthy habits.
In terms of natural products, Phytogen Medical Foods has developed Olimina3, a food supplement containing extra virgin olive oil polyphenols, omega-3 and curcumin. A formula with anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce joint pain caused by the side effects of breast cancer treatments.
As you have seen, eating foods from the Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. To alleviate the pain caused by the treatment of this disease, our Olimina 3 supplement will be a great ally for the most difficult days. Visit our website for more information!