Is it true that soybeans can reduce the risk of breast cancer?
If you are looking for an alternative to protein, then soybeans can be the best choice. Because soybeans contain protein, amino acids, and other nutrients that are important for the body. In addition, soy is also touted to reduce the risk of cancer. Is this claim true?
The Link Between Soybeans and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a condition when there is abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth in breast tissue. Hormones, genetics, lifestyle and environment are some of the factors that can cause this condition.
Consumption of foods derived from soybeans, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy milk is often associated with a reduced risk of several types of cancer and tumors, including breast cancer.
Please note, in the beans Soy contains isoflavones which are plant versions of estrogen (phytoestrogen).
This phytoestrogen has a different structure from human estrogen and has weaker properties. In addition, phytoestrogens will not turn into estrogen when consumed.
Isoflavones can actually protect the body from cancer caused by hormones. This is due to its ability to block natural estrogen in the blood.
Also Read: Is High Cholesterol Really Linked to Breast Cancer?
A study conducted in 2016 stated that Asian women who consumed a lot of soy had a 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Another study involving more than 73 thousand women in China revealed that participants who consumed at least 13 grams of soy protein per day had an 11 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer, compared to those who consumed less than 5 grams of soy protein.
In addition, it is also known that soybean supplementation can prevent side effects from cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Other Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer
If you are concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer, here are some ways you can reduce your risk of developing this condition, including:
1. Limiting Alcohol Consumption
The more amount of alcohol you consume, the higher the risk of breast cancer.
Alcohol can act as an irritant that damages cells. When these damaged cells try to repair themselves, there will be a risk of DNA changes so that the risk of cancer can also increase. Therefore, bmanage consumption no more than one serving per day.
2. Maintain Ideal Body Weight
Overweight and obesity can cause changes in the body that increase the risk of cancer. Fat deposits can cause prolonged inflammation and insulin levels that exceed normal limits.
Therefore, you are advised to keep your weight within the normal range.
Also Read: 10 Types of Food that should be Consumed by Breast Cancer Patients
3. Regular exercise
Exercise and being active can help you keep your weight within a normal range. In addition, exercise can also help regulate several hormones that contribute to the formation of cancer and help keep the body’s immune system strong.
You are advised to do aerobic exercise for 150 minutes per day, plus lifting weights twice a week. You can try brisk walking, dancing, biking, yoga, tennis, golf or swimming.
4. Giving Breast Milk to Babies
Research says that mothers who breastfeed their children can reduce the risk of breast cancer. In addition, breastfeeding for longer than 6 months may provide more protection from breast cancer.
Breastfeeding can cause hormonal changes that can delay menstruation. This will reduce the duration of exposure to hormones that cause cancer cell growth, such as the hormone estrogen.
Also Read: 6 Types of Exercise to Lower the Risk of Breast Cancer
5. Limit Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy
The combination of hormone therapy drugs, especially those containing the hormone estrogen can increase the risk of breast cancer. It is recommended that you discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy with your doctor.
If you decide to undergo hormone therapy, you should use it according to the dosage and rules for use that have been set by the doctor.
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