A recent study out of Georgetown University found that a pregnancy diet high in fat or an overabundance of estrogen may result in higher risk of breast cancer in daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters. The theory that excess amounts of estrogen leads to cancer is not a new one; however, the theory that an overabundance of estrogen and fatty foods during pregnancy can heighten the risk of cancer in multiple generations is gaining more support. Epigenetic signaling – the process of turning good genes on and bad genes off during pregnancy – is affected by a mother’s hormonal situation. Hormones and pregnancy are words often associated with each other. While some hormonal changes during pregnancy are unavoidable and natural, others are not and can easily be controlled through a proper diet. Here are foods (and recipes!) that naturally suppress estrogen and are babyQ approved:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables provide “whole” carbohydrates, water, fiber, and loads of vitamins and minerals that help control excess amounts of estrogen. Processed foods low in nutrients and high in refined (“white”) carbohydrates and fats lead to estrogen dominance.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are full of fiber and nutrients that are essential to eating a well-balanced diet and boosting your babyQ score. Whole grains are the unrefined version of “white” grains – instead of white rice, eat brown rice; go for whole grain bread instead of plain, boring, white bread; swap out white pasta with whole wheat noodles.
- Recipe to try: http://thelemonbowl.com/2012/09/lentils-and-bulgar-wheat-with-caramelized-onions.html#more-1333
- Healthy Fats: Omega 3 and monounsaturated fatty acids are what make up “healthy fats”. Cooking with, consuming, and swapping healthy fats for saturated ones (use olive or conola oil instead of butter) can improve your estrogen levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Recipe to try: http://thelemonbowl.com/2011/01/sesame-soy-broccoli.html
Think about your dietary choices and how you have the ability to protect not only yourself and your baby, but several more generations to come from your family – talk about the power of pregnancy.
*Liz, over at thelemonbowl.com, has delicious, healthy recipes and does a great job at explaining why her recipes are so good for you. I urge you browse her blog and try new dishes!
Reference: Nat. Commun. 3 : 1053 doi: 10.1038/ncomms2058 (2012)