Eating Peanut Butter, Nuts in Childhood Lower Breast Cancer Risk; Other Disease-Fighting Foods

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By Roshni Mahesh | September 28, 2013 1:42 AM EST

Regular consumption of peanut butter during childhood can help women protect against the risk of developing breast cancer, a new study says.

The study followed more than 9,000 girls, part of The Growing UP Today Study in the US. Prevalence of the benign breast cancer was analysed, between ages 18 and 30.

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine said that eating more nuts and peanut butter during childhood, particularly between the ages nine and 15, helped improve breast health and thus lowered the risk of benign breast disease by 39 percent. Benign breast disease is a series of non-cancerous changes that affects breast tissue, including cysts, sensitivity or discomfort in the breast and nipple. It is one of the major factors that increases the risk of breast cancer.

"These findings suggest that peanut butter could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women," senior author Graham, said in a news release. Graham is the associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

The researchers said lentils, beans, soybeans and corn are also equally effective in preventing benign breast disease.

The study has been published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women across the globe. Previous studies have identified several factors like having a large breast size, working night shifts, undergoing fertility treatments at a young age, giving birth to large babies, alcohol consumption during teenage years and having multiple babies via IVF escalated the risks of developing breast cancer in women.

Following are some other foods that help fight breast cancer:

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