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Whether you have a history of breast cancer in your family or not, adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle is beneficial to reduce your risk. Cynthia Thomson, PhD, a professor at the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona explained to Health magazine that, “Adopting the right eating plan and getting regular exercise can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer” She adds, “There’s no medication that can provide that kind of protection for the average-risk women.” Studies have shown that there are foods that contribute to the development of cancer and others that lessen this risk. But, it’s not only what you eat, but how you prepare what you eat.

You can decrease your risk of breast cancer even more by making some simple changes to how you cook.

1. Don’t overcook your meat.

Maybe you call it “Cajun style”, but charring and overcooking your meat does more than just add extra flavor. Beef, pork, fish or poultry cooked at high temperatures form heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are known to cause cancer in animals, according to the National Cancer Institute. You don’t have to worry about HCAs forming with grilled veggies (whew!), but for your meat, try marinating them in flavorful spices instead. A review in Natural Medicine Journal cites you can cut HCAs by up to 70 percent by cooking your meat with rosemary, fruit pulp, garlic and spices like paprika and chili powder (both high in vitamin E).

2. No more microwaving in plastic.

The same way foods can absorb other flavors while in the fridge, cooking your food in plastic containers in the microwave can also absorb toxic chemicals. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that substances used to make plastics can leach into foods. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a known hormone disruptor commonly found in plastic. In an article from Environmental Health Perspectives, scientists warn not heat food or beverages in plastic containers, even if they are BPA-free. Instead of plastic, invest in “microwave safe” or “heatproof” glass or ceramic containers.

3 Tips For Anti-Cancer Cooking  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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