Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month I wanted to post a few tips on the best foods and herbs for breast cancer patients. Really everyone should eat the foods on this list. But if you or a friend are in the midst of this horrible disease the Chinese herbs mentioned may be especially beneficial. Celeb’s like Sheryl Crow used diet, herbs and acupuncture during her bout with breast cancer, and much was written about simply because of her celebrity status. Why it takes a celeb to bring this info front and center I’m not sure.
Preventing cancer in the first place should be our goal, so incorporating these foods and herbs into your daily diet is always a good idea.
The Best Herbs for Breast Cancer
Herbs for breast cancer often includes herbs that help relieve symptoms associated with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, mucositis (inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract), and fatigue.
An important review by the internationally known Cochran Library included 542 breast cancer patients undergoing or having recently undergone chemotherapy. The seven studies they reviewed found that Chinese herbs offer relief of symptoms and enhance the immune system. “The results suggest that using Chinese herbs in conjunction with chemotherapy or Chinese medicinal herbs alone may be beneficial in terms of improvement in marrow suppression and immune system, and may improve overall state of quality of life”
Ginger is the main Chinese herb recommended to relieve nausea. Some herbs are used because they are known to have some anti-cancer properties. These include red clover, ashwagandha and curcumin.
The Best Foods for Breast Cancer
Broccoli sprouts and other members of the Brassica family such as kale, chard, turnips and bok choy have been found to be beneficial foods for breast cancer patients. Flax seed is an absolute must. Flax is a great source of alphalinolenic acid, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid found in plants and has essentially the best anti-cancer properties. Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and omega-3s.
Don’t forget tomatoes. They are high in lycopene, a proven cancer prevention compound according to the Univ. of Michigan. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is structurally similar to beta-carotene.
Dark leafy vegetables (dandelion greens, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, argula) and yellow orange fruits (papaya, mango) are good natural sources of beta carotene. Beta-carotene is also called pro-vitamin A is a proven cancer fighter.