This One Fruit Can Slow Breast Cancer
It’s October 31st which means it’s Halloween and also the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women, and represents 13% of all cancer deaths. With 72 people getting diagnosed with breast cancer each day in Canada, which comes out to be 1 in 8 women, prevention should be on the minds of everyone. The breast cancer rate has been declining since the 1980’s, mostly due mammography screening and lower use of hormone replacement therapy (which has been shown to increase chances of breast cancer), but still more needs to be done to foster awareness of early symptoms as well as easy prevention tools.
Something as easy as consuming more pomegranates can be a great step in actively supporting breast health. Studies have shown that the pomegranate fruit as well as its juice, extract, and oil have an anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-tumorigenic property. Pomegranates also have an abundance of a group of phytochemicals called ellagitannins which help support healthy breast and hormone production by inhibiting a key enzyme that the body uses to make estrogen called aromatase.
The fact that pomegranates also contain a high amount of antioxidants are also key. These antioxidants, which give pomegranates their vibrant red color, are also responsible for the alteration of the breast cancer cells. Another thing researchers found surprising was that you don’t need to eat abnormal amounts in order to get the benefits, but that low levels of the extract were able to modify the ability of the cancer stem cell to reproduce.
So next time you are at the grocery store, try incorporating pomegranates into your weekly meal plan. I love adding the seeds to kale salads with pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and vinaigrette!
Check out our naturopath Dr. Kali MacIsaac’s 7 Ways to Naturally Care For Your Breasts, which includes information about foods that support estrogen detox, why it’s important to include high quality fats into your diet, tips on avoiding environmental exposure that can increase chances of breast cancer, and how to do a self check breast exam!
Allison Locke R.TCM.P, R.Ac
Adams, L. Cancer Prevention Research, January 2010; vol 3: pp 108-113.
News release, American Association for Cancer Research.