Breast cancer poses a major risk for many women, but the right diet can help to prevent it.
The famous Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard Medical School found that women who ate lots of foods rich in beta-carotene, such as sweet potatoes, reduced their risk of breast cancer by as much as 25%.
Eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may improve your odds for breast cancer survival, a new study suggests. Of women in China diagnosed with breast cancer, those who consumed the most cruciferous vegetables were 62% less likely to die of breast cancer and 35% less likely to have a recurrence of the disease, compared with those who consumed the least.
Kohlrabi is high in bioflavonoids, plant pigments that work with vitamin C and other antioxidants to prevent the cell damage that promotes cancer. Kohlrabi is also high in indoles, chemicals that reduce the effects of estrogen, and thus may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Isothiocyanates, another group of compounds in kohlrabi, promote the action of enzymes that may protect against colon cancer.
People with cancer are often advised to increase their carbohydrate intake and decrease fat intake, especially if they have cancers of the breast, colon, uterus, prostate, or skin. But make sure those carbs come from high-fibre and antioxidant-rich whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A few studies suggest that refined carbs that cause blood sugar to spike may also feed cancer cells.
Portobello and white mushrooms are good sources of selenium, which may help prevent prostate cancer. Additionally, mushrooms are rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals, and eating them regularly has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer in Chinese and Korean women, according to studies.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
The antioxidant phytochemicals hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein in olives and olive oil may work together, according to laboratory studies, to help protect against breast cancer. Lignans that are present in extra-virgin olive oil may protect against cancer by suppressing early cancer changes in cells.
These small brown seeds are packed with fibre and loaded with lignans, which have been shown to slow down tumour growth in women with breast cancer. A 2007 study showed that flaxseed reduced growth of breast cancer cells in mice. More human studies are still needed to find out if the effects hold true for humans.