My top breakfast go-to is usually oatmeal. What’s yours? Are you a cereal, an omelet, or even a smoothie person? Or do you just go straight for your coffee?
The reason I’m interested is because I recently came across a study that suggests a specific breakfast may have a positive effect on a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. What is this specific breakfast? Well, it could be a black tea, a tall glass of 100% pure orange juice, and some grapefruit.
New research is showing that tea, citrus fruits and juices, and other foods and drinks with flavonoids can significantly lower the risk of ovarian cancer in young and middle-aged women.
Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer, which is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death in women. More than 14,300 women died from ovarian cancer in 2011 (the most recent number we have).
Significantly Reduce Your Risk
The study followed the eating habits of 171,940 women for more than three decades; each participant was between the ages of 25 and 55 at the outset of the study.
The researchers noticed that participants who ate two particular subgroups of flavonoid antioxidants—flavonols (tea, red wine, apples, grapes) and flavanones (citrus fruit and juices)—were less likely to develop the disease. For example, women who drank just two cups of black tea per day reduced their risk by 31%.
It should be noted that these antioxidants and their role in ovarian cancer are merely associations, and do not show a cause-and-effect relationship. However, the study’s findings do indicate that some very simple dietary changes can have an impact on your risk.
Sources of Ovarian Cancer-Fighting Antioxidants
Trying to find ways to increase your flavonol and flavanone intake is not very difficult. Citrus fruits, juices, and teas are readily available and inexpensive. The important thing to remember is that if you’re buying citrus juice, stay away from options with added sugars; these juices will do more harm than good, so read the label and make sure you’re getting pure juice without the extra sugar added.
Vary Your Approach
A diet high in fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health in a number ways, so make sure you’re getting between four and eight servings a day. Because different fruits and veggies feature different nutrients, try varying your sources in order to get the best benefits possible. Neglecting some foods and focusing too heavily on others can leave you with an imbalanced diet, limiting the effectiveness of the nutrients you are getting.
So, if you’re a woman, try increasing your intake of black tea and citrus fruits and juices to two servings per day to potentially help lower your risk for epithelial ovarian cancer.
Sources for Today’s Article:
University of East Anglia, “Tea, Citrus Products Could Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk, New Research Finds,” ScienceDaily web site, October 28, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141028082502.htm.
“United States Cancer Statistics,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site, 2014; http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/uscs/, last accessed December 2, 2014.