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Study shows fruit consumption lowers breast cancer risk in adolescents

Fruit consumption

(NaturalNews) Last fall, Chrissy Turner, an 8-year-old girl from Centerville, Utah, was diagnosed with breast cancer. After making the international headlines as the youngest known person ever diagnosed with breast cancer, she is now in remission after the removal of her right breast.

While breast cancer is often associated with women going through menopause, young girls or teenagers aren't risk-free either. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. About 1-in-8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. One fifth of these patients are diagnosed before the menopause, when the disease tends to be more aggressive.

The diagnosis of cancer will always come as a shock, regardless of age. However, as a parent, it is heartbreaking to see your little one go through all that pain and misery. A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggests that dietary habits in puberty and young adulthood can protect young girls from developing breast cancer by 25 percent.

For Chrissy, dietary and lifestyle changes may hold the key to spending the rest of her life free from cancer.

Fruit consumption lowers breast cancer risk

Researchers found that teenage girls who eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day could reduce the risk of breast cancer later in life by up to one quarter.

For the study, researchers tracked the dietary and lifestyle habits of more than 90,000 U.S. women for over two decades. They found that healthy eating as a teenager, and even before, is likely to have a crucial effect on how healthy one will be as an adult.

The scientists report that higher fruit consumption during adolescence – 2.9 servings per day – was linked to a 25 percent reduced risk of breast cancer diagnosis in middle age.

Furthermore, the results suggest that two servings per week of apples, bananas and grapes during adolescence significantly reduced the risk of breast cancer later on, as did two servings of oranges and kale during early adulthood.

While yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are the go-to foods for breast cancer prevention, the researchers note that fruit juice was not linked to any risk reduction. This supports previous findings that fruit juice can't be considered a fruit; it has been stripped of its beneficial fibers, and mainly consists of sugar.

Fiber plays a crucial role

Earlier this year, the same researchers suggested that fiber intake in adolescence may reduce breast cancer risk later on. They believe that fiber plays a crucial role in the protection against breast cancer by blocking the absorption of estrogen, which has been associated with the development of breast cancer.

Those who consumed a high fiber diet during their teenage years had a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer before their menopause. The new study is an extension of their previous findings that fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber.

The results didn't come as a total surprise, since numerous other papers have associated diet and lifestyle with the development of cancer.

However, researchers note that much more evidence is needed before they can draw conclusions on the reported protective association between adolescent fruit intake and breast cancer risk, as they relied on women's recall of their typical diet many years earlier.

Whatever the mechanism, eating a lot of fiber-rich organic fruits and vegetables from a very young age gives our children the best chance to live disease-free lives. Therefore, it is important to help our kids understand the value of food and living a healthy and organic lifestyle.

Cancer-causing environmental, nutritional and stress-related risk factors can be prevented! Join us here to learn more.

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