Eating More Fruits and Vegetables May Help Lower Risk of Breast Cancer
Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, micronutrients, and fiber. A recent Harvard study suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of breast cancer.
Participants in the study included 88,301 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study, which started in 1980, and 93,844 women who took part in the the Nurses’ Health Study II, which started in 1991. The researchers collected data on other breast cancer risk factors via questionnaire every two years.
After examining the data, the researchers found that the women who ate more than 5.5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day were at an 11% lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate 2.5 or fewer servings. They also found that consuming more fruits and vegetables was especially associated with a lower risk of more aggressive tumors, including ER-negative, HER2-enriched, and basal-like tumors.
Finally, they found that the benefits held true independent of fiber content of the fruits and vegetables.
The study was published on July 6, 2018, in the International Journal of Cancer.
If you’re trying to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, it’s important to know how to measure them. A serving is defined as one cup of raw leafy vegetables, half a cup of raw or cooked vegetables, or half a cup of chopped or cooked fruits. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can be as simple as grabbing an apple as a snack or making sure you have a fruit or vegetable at every meal.