When it comes to health news, there's almost nothing I love more than hearing that scientists have proven -- yet again! -- how something from nature can curb some of our greatest wellness woes, even better than pharmaceutical fixes. Most recently, a study out of the German Research Centre in Heidelberg and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has confirmed that eating a diet high in seeds, particularly flaxseeds, can help cut the risk of dying from breast cancer for postmenopausal women by 40 percent!
The reason flaxseeds do such a good job guarding against the disease? They contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), the most important of which are lignans, which kill off cancer cells and prevent secondary tumors by stopping the growth of new blood vessels.
How amazing is that? It's such simple, interesting, accessible preventative medicine, since flaxseeds can easily be ground up and sprinkled in just about everything we eat -- from salads to yogurt and baked goods.
It is important to note, though, that it was women who had tumors that lacked receptors for estrogen (aka ER-negative tumors) and with the highest blood levels of the phytoestrogen biomarker that is produced by metabolizing lignans who had the 40 percent lower risk of death. The scientists note that they're not so sure about the effects of lignans on estrogen-positive tumors, and to find out, they would need to expand their study to include larger groups of women. Makes sense, and definitely sounds like something I hope they spend time looking into!
In the meantime, the researchers say women should fill their diets with "wholemeal products, like seeds and vegetables," which are most likely protective in a multitude of ways. Hey, sounds like a plan to me!
What do you think about these findings?
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