Garlic and onions might help stave off this

By Jaimie Oh Advocate Health Care

Whether it be ketchup, salsa or simple salt and pepper, condiments can deliver a flavorful punch. Garlic and onion are used in condiments and cooking all over the world. But did you know they can be much more than a tasty morsel?

According to a recent study published in Nutrition and Cancer, garlic and onion also might reduce the risk of breast cancer.

“There is a growing amount of research that shows garlic and onion is associated with a decreased risk of several types of cancer, in addition to breast cancer,” says Dr. Celeste Cruz, breast surgeon at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “These study results really highlight the critical role nutrition plays in overall health and prevention.”

For the study, researchers followed more than 650 Puerto Rican women over a six-year period and documented their breast cancer risk and consumption of sofrito – a popular onion- and garlic-based condiment in Puerto Rico.

After reviewing the data, the researchers found that women who ate sofrito more than once a day experienced a 67% decrease in breast cancer risk compared to women who never ate sofrito.

“Garlic and onions are packed with powerful cancer-fighting compounds, which is a great tip to keep in mind for the next trip down the grocery aisle,” Dr. Cruz says.

In addition to healthy eating, Dr. Cruz says other key lifestyle habits are critical to preventing breast cancer, including stopping or never starting a smoking habit, minimizing alcohol consumption and maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy body weight.