Which was associated with lowest breast cancer risk in African-American women? Apples, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, grapefruit, oranges, spinach, tomatoes, or sweet potatoes?
Images thanks to: Evan-Amos, (Derivative: Scarce), Fir0002, J.smith, and BogHog via Wikimedia Commons; Ana Santos, Renee Comet the National Cancer Institute, Miansari66, flagstaffotos.com.au, and Tracye McQuirter, MPH.
Recently a study of 50,000 African-American women was published, a sadly neglected demographic when it comes to nutritional science—and, medical research in general actually. Fruit and vegetable intake in relation to risk of breast cancer in the Black Women’s Health Study. Those who listened to mom and ate their veggies had significantly lower risk of the nastiest type of breast cancer—estrogen receptor negative, because it’s so hard to treat. Any plants particularly protective? Out of all the fruits and vegetables they looked at, two stood above the rest. Which two do you think they were? They specifically looked at apples, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, grapefruit, oranges, spinach, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. And for those of you who are thinking, you can’t compare apples to oranges-well they just did! What do you think they found? Although, broccoli consumption appeared especially protective in premenopausal women, for women of all ages, winner #1 was collards. No surprise. It’s cruciferous, it’s a dark green leafy. It’s like kale! What’s not to like! But winner #2 was a shocker. Carrots! Which Tracy featured on the cover of her great book, along, with, collards. As one researcher suggested, “A whole-food vegan diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially if coupled with regular exercise and smoking avoidance, could be expected to have a remarkably positive impact on African- American cancer risk, reversing the increases in cancer risk incurred during the 20th century.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ashley Rhinehart, RN.
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For more on breast cancer prevention and diet, see yesterday's NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Why Do Asian Women Have Less Breast Cancer?
More on collards in Eating Green to Prevent Cancer, Prevent Glaucoma and See 27 Miles Farther, and Egg Industry Blind Spot. More on carrots in Benzene in Carrot Juice, Crop Nutrient Decline, and Best Cooking Method. And more on broccoli and breast cancer, see DNA Protection From Broccoli, Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells, and Sulforaphane From Broccoli to Breast.
Certain African populations were among the healthiest on Earth, inspiring one of America's lifestyle medicine pioneers. See Engineering a Cure. Sadly, African-Americans suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases, but the good news is that many of them—such as high blood pressure and diabetes—can be prevented, stopped, and reversed with a healthy plant-based diet. Check out Tracye's website By Any Greens Necessary.
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