A serving of fruits is good for the "girls" and by that, we also mean the girls' "twins." A new study found that teenage girls who eat plenty of fruits have lowered risk of getting breast cancer.
On the other hand, women who consume high amounts of alcohol over time might be increasing their risks of the disease, a second study found. However, this increase of booze intake can decrease their risk of heart disease.
The Power Of Fruits
In the fruit study, the researchers followed 90,000 female nurses in the span of more than 20 years, of whom half has provided their diet specifics from adolescence all the way to early adulthood.
They found that high intake of bananas, grapes and apples during teenage years was linked to decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
In particular, those who ate at least three servings of the above mentioned fruits during their young years had a 25 percent reduced risk of the disease by the time they become middle-aged adults. The rate was compared directly with those who ate just half-servings of the fruits daily.
Teenage girls who ate kale and oranges also revealed the same breast cancer risk drop. However, consuming fruit juices were not found to have the same effects, noted the researchers.
"This study also has an important message for schools and the need to provide students with the opportunity to consume more fruits and vegetables as part of the school meal program," said study author Maryam Farvid, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health visiting scientist.
The authors cautioned, however, that the observations did not include cause-and-effect evidence. The study simply showed the association.
The Influence Of Alcohol
In the alcohol study, researchers from Denmark followed almost 22,000 post-menopausal Danish women. They found that women who drank two drinks daily in the span of five years had 30 percent increased breast cancer risk.
But wait, these women also had 20 percent decreased risk of developing coronary heart disease compared with women who limited their booze intake.
"There may be some benefit with low to moderate intakes of alcohol, but this could be outweighed by an increased risk of breast cancer and other morbidities," the Danish researchers said.
They added that ischemic heart risk can be lowered by tweaking other lifestyle habits or by taking medications.