Breast Cancer Diet: Foods to Eat and to Avoid

Aug 08, 2020 08:24 AM EDT | By Madelaine D. (

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers for women in the United States. One out of eight American women is affected by breast cancer. This disease is also possible to occur in men but with less than one percent of the total cases.

According to Asian Pacific Journal Cancer Prevention, eating patterns or diet has been associated with the reduction of breast cancer. Indeed, lifestyle and food have been essential factors to consider to keep your body healthy and protected against breast cancer. And if you have breast cancer, it's never too late to improve your diet plans and be a survivor!

Foods to eat

Breast Cancer Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
(Photo : Brooke Lark)
Put together all of my favorite eats on one plate. Because, as much as I adore the kids homemade pancakes, a bowl of fresh fruit is what I really want for Mother’s Day.

To help you make your breast cancer diet, we will give you a list of food to eat and avoid. Let's start first with the 10 foods you must eat to reduce the risk of breast cancer:

  1. Leafy green vegetables- leafy green vegetables have carotenoid antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene, associated with the reduction of breast cancer risk. According to research, a high intake of folate and vitamin B in green leafy vegetables can protect you against breast cancer. 
  2. Allium vegetables- garlic and onions are not just ordinary saute ingredients. These allium vegetables are rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, organosulfur, and vitamin C. 
  3. Cruciferous vegetables-these vegetables help lower the risk of breast cancer. Cruciferous plants are cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. These veggies contain glucosinolate compounds in which the body converts to anticancer molecules called isothiocyanates.
  4. Beans- contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Beans that are high in fiber may protect a person from acquiring breast cancer. 
  5. Citrus fruits- fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, folate, and carotenoids that may protect you against breast cancer. These nutrients are excellent anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. According to HealthLine, the review of six studies in over 8,000 people who have high citrus intake is linked to a 10% reduction of breast cancer risk. 
  6. Peaches, apples, and pears- fruits like pears, apples, and peaches showed a safeguard against breast cancer. A test-tube study revealed that components such as polyphenol antioxidants from peaches inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.
  7. Berries- may help lower the risk of getting certain cancers, including breast cancer. Berries' antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonoids protect our body against cellular damage and the spread of cancer cells.  
  8. Fatty fish- salmon, sardines, or mackerel are known for their abundant health benefits. These fatty fishes have selenium, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants that act as protection against cancer. Eating fatty fish reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to studies.
  9. Fermented foods- yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and other fermented foods- contain probiotics and other nutrients that are good for fighting breast cancer. NCBI stated that fermented dairy products are linked to reducing the risk of breast cancer in Western and Asian populations. 
  10. Herbs and spices- parsley, thyme, turmeric, curry, oregano, and ginger contain compounds like fatty acids, vitamins, and polyphenol antioxidants that help a person prevent breast cancer. Many herbs and spices are powerful anticancer, and it's good to add in your diet. 

Foods to avoid

Breast Cancer Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
(Photo : Kanan Khasmammadov)
Bar table, Potato wedges

On the contrary, certain foods may increase the risk of getting breast cancer. Here are foods to avoid to make sure your safety of not getting any risk of breast cancer:

  • Fried foods - your meal that includes regular eating of fried foods have a high chance of having breast cancer. A study in 620 Iranian women concluded that eating fried food is the most significant risk factor for developing breast cancer. 
  • Processed meats - meats like sausages and bacon raises the risk of breast cancer. According to one analysis, the high processed meat intake could increase nine percent of breast cancer risk. 
  • Fast food- foods from fast food restaurants are associated with many disadvantages, especially when frequently choose eating fast foods. Aside from having a high chance of getting breast cancer, it may also increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. 
  • Added sugar- is a high factor of getting breast cancer as it increases inflammation and triggers certain enzymes related to the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  • Alcohol - Heavy drinking may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer and even other kinds of cancer.
  • Refined carbs- excessive carbs, particularly the refined ones, may increase breast cancer risk. It is recommended to replace refined carbs with sugar baked goods with whole grain products, white bread, and nutrient-dense vegetables.

Cancer risk is a complicated issue that is caused by many factors. However, one of the biggest factors to consider is your diet. Following a good and healthy diet may reduce the risk of having cancer like breast cancer. 

Knowing the food, you must eat is equally important to discover the foods you should avoid to prevent breast cancer. Improving a well-balanced diet can reduce the risk in general, but there are still lots of factors related with the development of breast cancer. 

Aside from a healthy diet, maintain regular health checkups. Remember that early detection increases survival rates. 

Check these out:

Diet: The Solution to Scalp Problems

Did You Know? Fasting Diet May Improve Breast Cancer Treatments

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Watermelon Every Day?

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