By now, most of us know that October is a month to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Since only 10 percent of breast cancer cases are genetic, a huge part of this conversation revolves around cancer prevention through environment and lifestyle adjustments. We can't control everything, but we can take certain actions to lower our risk—and cleaning up our diet is one of them.
I founded the Keep A Breast Foundation in response to the growing need for breast cancer awareness programs that focus on educating young people. My friends were being diagnosed in their 20s, and at the time I had no idea how early in life breast cancer could strike. It flipped a switch in my brain and I realized that it was my purpose to start these kinds of dialogues about preventive measures.
By eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, you can reduce your risk of cancer while enjoying other benefits like a healthy weight, a lower risk of heart disease, and increased energy levels. Colleen Doyle, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society, explains, "Though there's no one food that will reduce your risk of this disease, it's the synergy between many nutrients—vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants—that's likely to give you the most protection."
Here are some easy swaps to make to eat with prevention in mind: