Health & Spirit

Nutrition News: Coffee, Fruits and Veggies

Charlyn Fargo on

Would you eat certain foods if you knew they helped reduce your risk of breast cancer?

If you're like me and have a family history, you probably would consider it.

"Breast cancer risk after menopause may be lowered by as much as 65% by consuming more food and liquids with certain kinds of phenolic acids," according to an article in Endocrine Today.

Drink your coffee; eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Nothing new, just another reason to build your meals according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate and not feel guilty about your morning brew.

Here's why:

A study, conducted at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and reported on in the journal, finds that acids in fruits, vegetables, coffee and nuts are the key.

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It's worth noting that the study was based on food frequency questionnaires given to 11,028 women: Those numbers alone make the study credible. The researchers looked at their phenolic acid intake, specifically how much "hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids" were consumed. Participants were followed for more than 11 years to see how many developed breast cancer.

They found that "breast cancer risk was inversely associated with hydroxycinnamic acid consumption ... for a 65% reduction in breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women who had the highest reported consumption of these acids."

But what foods have these hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids? Good sources of the former include kiwis, blueberries, plums, cherries, apples, pears, chicory (as in dried chicory root added to various foods), artichokes, carrots, lettuce, eggplant, wheat and coffee. Good sources of benzoic acid are prunes, cranberries and plums.

The bottom line? We've known that fruits and veggies are good for a healthy diet. Here's just another reason to eat them.


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