Diet plays an influential role in preventing as well as treating ovarian cancer to a considerable extent. Know how what you eat can to help you reduce your ovarian cancer risk.
Women have two ovaries in their bodies, one on either side of the uterus. These ovaries are responsible for the production of eggs in addition to the hormones called estrogen and progesterone. When malignant or cancerous cells develop in the ovaries of women, the condition is referred to as ovarian cancer. Approximately 23,000 women are diagnosed with this disease every year in the United States alone, and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. In many cases, ovarian cancer goes undetected till it reaches an advanced stage, and has already spread to the abdomen and pelvic area. This is because most of the usual symptoms of ovarian cancer are often mistaken for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other less severe health conditions.
The exact cause of ovarian cancer is not yet known, but there are certain factors that can increase your chances of getting this disease. These include heredity factors (a family history of ovarian cancer); personal history of breast, colon, or uterine cancer; and genetic mutation of genes that are associated with ovarian cancer. Since ovarian cancer is tough to detect and may escalate quickly, the best way to keep this disease from affecting you is prevention. You cannot control all the risk factors of ovarian cancer, but factors such as a healthy lifestyle and the right diet can considerably influence your chances of developing the disease. In fact, some foods have demonstrated excellent abilities of targeting ovarian cancer cells and defeating this life-threatening disease. Here are some of the foods that you can incorporate in your diet to prevent ovarian cancer.
This wonder root is a known herbal cure used to treat a range of ailments, and it has been found that ginger can be effective in destroying ovarian cancer cells too. Researchers dissolved ginger powder in a solution that contained ovarian cancer cultures, and found that the mutant cells were killed. Experts believe that ginger works in two ways to destroy ovarian cancer cells—first by apoptosis, a process of cellular self-destruction, and then by autophagy, a process in which the cancer cells digest themselves. Scientists at the University of Michigan conducted a study in which they discovered that ginger caused apoptosis at the same rate as typical chemotherapy drugs, but without having any side effects on the patient. In addition, the root of ginger is also known to control inflammation, which is a precursor to ovarian cancer.
Your mother has probably been telling you to eat your veggies all your life, and now there is even more reason why you should include plenty of vegetables in your regular diet. The September 2013 issue of ‘Recent Patents on Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery’ published a review stating that cruciferous vegetables contain a compound known as isothiocyanate, which can prevent ovarian cancer cells from growing. Some of the cruciferous vegetables that you should eat regularly include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. Moreover, vegetables are rich in various beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants. Antioxidants can help reduce free radicals in your body, which are potential cancer-causing cells. Colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, and kale are some of the vegetables that contain high levels of antioxidants, so ensure that you add these veggies to your meals.
Ginkgo biloba is a herb that has been found to significantly lower your risk of developing ovarian cancer. For the study conducted to find the effects of this herb, over 600 women who had ovarian cancer and 640 healthy participants were tested. The women who participated in the study all had a history of using herbs such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, Echinacea, or St. John’s wort. It was found that only the participants who took ginkgo biloba supplements had lower rates of being affected by ovarian cancer—the risk factor reduced by an impressive 60 percent.
Of late, the myriad health benefits of green tea are being increasingly discussed, leading to a popularity of this drink the world over. If you are still skeptical about how this tea can help you, maybe this will change your mind—an extensive research conducted by observing women in the age group of 40-76 years over a period of 15 years revealed that drinking just two cups of green tea a day can bring down your risk of ovarian cancer by half. In the study, researchers found that among the 61,057 women who participated, those who consumed one cup of green tea every day had a reduced ovarian cancer risk by 24 percent, while women who drank two or more cups daily lowered their risk by a whopping 46 percent. They also found that women who consumed green tea consistently for more than 30 years had a 75 percent drop in their ovarian cancer risk. Scientists believe that this is owing to the high level of antioxidants present in the beverage. These powerful phytonutrients not only assist in preventing and repairing DNA damage, but also hamper the growth and progress of cancer cells in your body by increasing apoptosis.
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