Plant-Rich Diets Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Risk

An array of vegetables.

Plant-rich diets and breast cancer may be related, as a new study has found that women who eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and legumes have a lower chance of developing a certain type of breast cancer.

Researchers looked at an ongoing study of over 86,000 women who have been followed for 26 years. Less than one percent of them developed ER-negative breast cancer. The findings revealed that women with diets rich in plant foods and low in red meat, sodium and processed carbohydrates were less likely to develop the cancer.

More specifically, women who were on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet – an eating regimen recommended for lowering blood pressure – were at a 20 percent lower risk for developing breast cancer than the others.

Still, the study does not prove that eating vegetables prevents breast cancer. According to Teresa T. Fung, an associate professor of nutrition at Simmons College in Boston and lead author of the study, the basic finding of the study is that healthy nutritional habits may also be associated with lower breast cancer risk, and vegetables may be the key. It is worth it to introduce healthier foods to your diet.

"Any improvement is better than no improvement,” said Fung, as quoted by Reuters. "Find one item you can work on.”

The DASH diet recommends getting four or five servings of vegetables per day, and the same amount of fruit as well, in addition to four or five servings of legumes, seeds and nuts each week.

Results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology

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