A new study reveals that teens who eat 3 servings of fruit a day have a 25% decreased risk of breast cancer as an adult, compared to teens who eat less than one serving of fruit a day.
Published in the BMJ on May 11, 2016, this study shows that fruit has a preventive effect in preventing breast cancer and that specifically consuming fruit as an adolescent is even more important than consuming them as an adult.
- Researchers examined date from over 90,000 premenopausal female patients (ages 27 – 44 years old)
- Over 44,000 patients reported their dietary intake of fruit and vegetables as teens in 1991 as well as 1998, and over 3,200 women went on to develop invasive breast cancer, diagnosed by pathology.
- Patients were followed for over 22 years, and invasive cancer rates were examined in relation to their reported fruit and vegetable consumption as teens.
- Patients who consumed the highest amount of fruits as a teen (roughly 3 servings a day) had a 25% drop in risk for developing breast cancer as an adult than those who consumed the lowest amount of fruit (less than one serving a day.)
- Adult consumption of fruit did not reduce risk, indicating that the timing of fruit consumption as a teen is important.
- 25% less cases of invasive breast cancer simply from consuming fruit in adolescence represents a HUGE amount of breast cancers that can be prevented, as it is the most common female cancer worldwide. With approximately 1.7 million new cases reported annually, this is a potential reduction of 425,000 cancer cases prevented each year.
Which fruits had the highest impact in preventing breast cancer?
Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges (and the vegetable kale!) were among the most beneficial.
And what if your teen doesn’t like fruit?
Adding a handful of berries to a smoothie, over ice cream, or into yogurt is an easy way to get fresh fruit into your teen’s diet. Or, consider adding a blueberry extract supplement to their daily diet.
Other nutrients that have been shown to help prevent cancer are Vitamin D (as I blog about here) so request to have your teen’s Vit D levels tested and consider a bioavailable fat emulsified Vit D supplement.
Or… you could drink your cancer prevention. If you have a teen that likes tea, drinking green tea daily, as I blog about here, is effective at preventing several different types of cancer, including breast cancer. And if your teen doesn’t like drinking green tea, consider a green tea supplement if you have a strong family history of breast cancer and are concerned about your daughter’s risk.
What non-dietary actions can help prevent breast cancer?
- Nightly fasting (read more about this in my blog post here) for about 13 hours a night — so for example, no eating/snacking after 6 PM if your teen generally eats breakfast around 7 AM the next day (staying hydrated is good though!)
This study is really important to be aware of, because a ton of research has been poured into studying adult diets and cancer prevention or recovery…
…but this is one of very few studies that prove that dietary intake as a teen has a major, dramatic effect on cancer prevention and that it is specific to consumption during adolescence, not as an adult.
To your child’s long term, vibrant health!
P.S. — looking for more ways to support your teen?
Check out these other articles I have written for more inspiration!
Mood Support: Medical research shows that teens moods impact their lifespan — here’s how to support a good mood for your child.
High Quality Sleep: Poor sleep actually makes children gain weight abnormally — here’s what you need to know to support a good night’s sleep for your child.
Stop Bullying: Bullying causes psychological harm well into adulthood — here are three ways to protect your child from trauma.