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8 Foods That Will Help You Fight Breast Cancer

8 Foods That Will Help You Fight Breast Cancer

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Use your diet to help you take control in the fight against breast cancer


Here's a list of foods you should consider adding to your shopping list.

When people are diagnosed with breast cancer they can feel as if they’ve lost all control — of their life, their health, and their happiness. As the diagnosis sets in and treatments begin, patients devote themselves to cancer-healing regimens and their bodies may feel the effects along the way. Recently, The Daily Meal reviewed a cookbook that educates readers on the effects one's diet can have on the body when battling cancer.

Click here to see the 8 Foods That Will Help You Fight Breast Cancer Slideshow

Co-author and cancer survivor Kendall Scott feels very strongly about the message of her book, especially during October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about more than just the "boobs and tatas" that so many campaigns and catchy slogans focus on, she says, but it’s about the person behind the breasts who is suffering from cancer. Nutrition is Scott's answer to that; feeding the body and making it strong enough to stave off cancer. Nothing is more important to us at The Daily Meal than supporting the fight against breast cancer through food, so we asked Scott to work with us to come up with a list of foods that will help women (and men for that matter) fight cancer before, during, and after diagnosis. While there are many things that may cause breast cancer, Scott told us that diet is closely linked, and fortunately enough, it's one thing we have control of. Educate yourself on these breast-cancer fighting foods and add them to your shopping list right away.

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce

7 Recipes Every Cancer Patient Should Try

Eating a balanced diet is sensible advice for anyone, but it is even more important if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. The body needs vital nutrients and vitamins in order to keep healthy, fight infections and perform at its best. When you are already ill, eating well can help ease the symptoms of your disease, help you recover better from treatments, as well as give you more energy and help maintain a healthy body weight. However, cancer treatments can make you feel nauseous and leave you with little appetite.

Here are seven recipes you should try that are both nutritious and flavorful, but are light and easy to eat.

1. Chicken and White Bean Soup

Chicken soup is very soothing, packed with protein and easy to consume. Add in some white beans for extra flavor and even more protein, or substitute the beans for some noodles if you prefer. This soup is particularly easy to make because it uses store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients (serves 6):
3 cups of rotisserie chicken or chopped cooked chicken breast
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
15oz can white beans, rinsed
1 Tbsp of oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken, omitting the skin and bones. Saute the onion, celery and carrots with the oil over a low to medium heat until the onions turn translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the broth and chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add in the chicken and beans and cook for five minutes, season to taste and serve.

Breast Cancer: Foods to Help With the Fight

This year, 27,400 women in Canada will learn they have breast cancer, according to Canadian Cancer Society estimates. It’s the most common type of cancer in women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). And it doesn’t skip men entirely — more than 240 males will also be diagnosed with the disease.

Only a small fraction of breast cancer cases, perhaps five to 10 per cent, can be blamed on inherited genes. Researchers are learning more all the time about the power we have to reduce our own risk for the disease just by watching our weight, avoiding alcohol and getting more exercise. We can also choose specific foods that may fight the development or spread of breast-cancer tumours.

Take a look at seven of them:

1. Low-fat milk

Just last year, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research released an in-depth analysis of breast-cancer prevention research. They noted, among other findings, that certain dietary choices showed promise for reducing risk. These include dairy foods like milk and yogurt. The high calcium in these foods may be protective against breast cancer. We suggest low-fat dairy choices, such as skim milk, because obesity is known to be a risk factor for breast cancer in postmenopausal women (and in men, too).

2. White beans

The WCRF report noted that other calcium-rich foods such as beans and almonds may reduce the risk of breast cancer as well. Researchers aren’t completely sure how it works, but they know that calcium acts as a messenger in the body. One of its roles is to manage the growth of healthy cells. This mineral may help suppress the growth and spread of cancerous cells. One cup of canned white beans has about two-thirds the calcium of a cup of milk. Bone bonus: Calcium is great for your skeleton!

3. Ginger

Many studies have linked the compounds in ginger to health benefits. In fact, this popular root has been used all over the world for thousands of years to treat nausea, headaches and the common cold. According to research, including a study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, ginger may act as an antioxidant and help prevent invasion of breast cancer
cells. Since ginger can ease nausea, it can play double-duty for women already diagnosed with breast cancer, helping them manage symptoms of chemotherapy.

4. Non-starchy vegetables

There’s evidence that non-starchy vegetables like greens, sprouts and carrots (for comparison, starchy veggies include high-carb potatoes and corn) may lower the risk of a subcategory of the disease called estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. This type of breast cancer isn’t one of the most common, but it can be more difficult to treat, so why not take every bit of buffer you can? Eating a variety of veggies also keeps weight down, which is, as we mentioned above, a well established way to lower the risk of breast cancer.

5. Whole-grain bread

Whole wheat other whole grains are high in fibre, a nutrient that appears to protect us against hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast cancer. How much should we aim for? A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that it takes seven or more servings of whole grains per week to reduce breast-cancer risk. If you’re buying bread, though, be sure to double-check your loaf label. Saying “100% wheat” is not the same as saying “whole wheat.” “Multigrain” or “seven grain” does not necessarily mean those multiple kinds of grains have been used in their whole form.

6. Pumpkin

Autumn is an opportune time to think about pumpkin, whether you’re planning your Thanksgiving meal or figuring out what to do with your leftover Halloween pumpkins. This squash cultivar is rich in carotenoids, compounds that are linked to a lower incidence of breast cancer. Carotenoids may help by strengthening the immune system as well as the ability of cells to signal each another. Besides pumpkin, you can pack your plate with carrots and squash.

7. Artichokes

According to some studies, artichokes may help kill cancer cells and reduce breast cancer spread. Artichokes, which are actually the edible flower buds of a thistle, are low in calories but high in fibre, magnesium and potassium. According to Harvard Medical School, these minerals may help lower blood pressure. Artichokes also contain a compound, cynarin, which may help
lower cholesterol. Try this party trick: Bite into an artichoke, then eat or drink something different. Does it seem extra-sweet? If so, it’s because substances in the artichoke temporarily block your tongue’s sweetness receptors. Then they come back in full force with the next thing you taste!

Garlic and Onions Get Down to the Cellular Level

“Garlic seems to have an impact on cell cycling,” explains Marian. That’s the process that is not functioning properly when a healthy cell becomes cancerous and grows uncontrolled. Credit for regulating this goes to the component of garlic called allyl sulfide. Allyl sulfides are found throughout the onion family, so adding garlic or onions to your recipes on a regular basis may aid in breast cancer prevention.

People on blood thinners and certain other drugs should talk with their doctor before taking garlic supplements, to avoid possible drug interactions.

Nutritionist Shares Recipes For Your Breast Health Journey

When they become moms, women often realize how important nutrition is to the body — both their own bodies and their babies. Even women who never worried about their own health before begin to check ingredients to make sure that they get the proper amount of omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, calcium, and other important nutrients, so that their little ones will grow. And later, they stress over balanced meals for their kids. Moms know that nutrition is important in growing strong, but most aren't aware that certain foods can also help with other health issues, including fighting cancer.

One nutritionist and activist has made it her mission to help women fight breast cancer through the food that they eat, and she's sharing her recipes on Instagram.

Rachel Beller, cookbook author and founder of nutrition company, is a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, according to As a former researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Rachel has done the work to figure out the best foods to build immunity, reduce inflammation, and prevent breast cancer, and her food looks pretty tasty too.

Rachel kicked of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by appearing on Good Morning America and give advice about how women can use nutrition to keep their bodies healthy against cancer. She shared a recipe for a power breakfast of yogurt crunch parfait, powered with basil seeds that are good for breast and gut health.

For later in the day, Rachel recommends that women get mushrooms on their plates because they reduce the production of estrogen and have prebiotic and immunity properties. For a snack, she shared a three-ingredient energy bite recipe with dates, walnuts, and healthy spices including cinnamon cacao, and turmeric.

The Best Foods to Eat When You Have Breast Cancer

Whether you’re newly diagnosed with breast cancer or you’re facing breast cancer that’s spread to another part of your body, you probably have many questions. These may include: What should I eat?

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

We talked with dietitian Anna Taylor, RD, who offered these four diet tips for those undergoing cancer treatment:

  1. Stayhydrated. Aim for at least 2 liters to 3 liters of fluid per day — about 66 ounces to 99 ounces — mostly from caffeine-free fluids.
  2. Get enoughcalories. Forget the calculator — the best way to know whether you are eating enough calories for energy is to weigh yourself once or twice a week. If your weight is trending down week after week, speak with a dietitian to make a plan. Remember to eat regularly throughout the day. Small meals five to six times a day typically work well.
  3. Focus onnutrients and get the most nutrients per calorie. Choose foods from the food groups — things like fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, meats/eggs and dairy products. A balanced diet helps ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to keep your body strong.
  4. Don’t forget protein.Protein helps maintain lean body mass/muscle. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, soy and dairy products. Smaller amounts of proteins are found in vegetables and whole grains.

What to eat during breast cancer treatment

If you don’t have nutrition-related side effects from your cancer treatment that limit your ability to eat and/or digest food, Taylor says you can follow a generally healthy diet that includes:

Fruits and vegetables: 5+ servings a day. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant and anti-estrogen properties. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are especially good to include and are rich in phytochemicals.

Whole grains: 25-30 grams of fiber daily. Whole grains are unprocessed foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, phytochemicals as well as vitamins and minerals. A study by researchers at Soochow University in Suzhou, China, found that high fiber intakes may have a positive effect by altering hormonal actions of breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers.

Lean protein — and soy, too. For good protein sources, increase your intake of poultry, fish and legumes like beans and lentils. Minimize your intake of cured, pickled and smoked foods. Soy in moderate amounts, which means one to two servings/day of whole soy foods (like tofu, edamame and soy milk) also can be included. Studies, including research reported in the American Institute for Cancer Research, show that animals metabolize soy differently than humans. Not only is soy safe in moderate amounts, but research shows that soy contains isoflavones, a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties. Up to three servings of whole soy foods per day doesn’t increase a breast cancer survivor’s risk of recurrence or death.

Alcohol in moderation, if at all. Drinking alcohol is a known risk factor for breast cancer. A large, observational study of 105,986 women suggested that drinking three glasses of wine or more per week throughout life increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by a small but significant percentage. The study saw a 15% increased risk of breast cancer when women drank an average of three to six drinks per week, compared to women who did not drink. Try to avoid intake of alcoholic beverages when possible.

After treatment, maintain a healthy weight

Obese women have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women who are in their ideal body weight range.

Many studies including a study conducted by researchers from the Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research in Tehran, Iran, have demonstrated an association between body mass size and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

If you’re overweight, Taylor recommends losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise once you’ve finished treatment. Weight loss during treatment isn’t typically encouraged, as this is often associated with undesired muscle loss, leading to fatigue, a suppressed immune system and a slower healing process.

“Allow your body the nutrients it needs to fight cancer,” she says. Once your treatment is done, consider meeting with a dietitian for individualized recommendations to decrease recurrence risk and support a healthy weight.

Potential cancer fighters in foods

Phytonutrients support human health and are found in plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. Below, you’ll find common foods that contain important phytochemicals.

If you have side effects

Nausea. If you experience nausea, your dietitian may recommend that you try to eat more foods that are cool or at room temperature because they don’t have a strong odor. It may also help to eat lower-fat food since fats take longer to digest.

“Don’t skip meals entirely if you have nausea, since an empty stomach can make nausea worse,” Taylor says. “Instead, focus on small bites of food throughout the day.” Avoid strong flavors. Feel free to incorporate ginger root into your recipes, as this can help settle a nauseated stomach.

Constipation. If constipation becomes an issue, your dietitian may encourage you to eat fiber-rich foods and increase your fluid intake, Taylor adds. Low-intensity walking and warm beverages also can help encourage regular bowel movements.

Fatigue. To combat fatigue, choose high-protein snacks and small frequent meals rather than large meals. People often experience more fatigue when they’re not eating well, or when they’re losing weight during treatment.

If you’re experiencing any side effect that affects your ability to eat regularly, ask your care team if you can meet with a dietitian to review individualized nutrition recommendations.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

The Best Foods for Fighting Breast Cancer

Through my research and her doctor’s guidance, she decided to focus on a plant-rich diet full of a variety of vegetables, lentils, beans, fruit, nuts, eggs, and Omega 3-rich fish to provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats to aid healing and boost immunity.

We learned that foods like mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower, lentils, black beans, and spinach are some of the best for fighting breast cancer. And, that’s exactly the kinds of foods I included in this big batch of Cancer-Fighting Soup for my friend.

IMPORTANT! Please keep in mind that I am not a dietician or licensed medical practitioner, so please ask your doctor if the ingredients included in this soup are ok for you if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and/or are receiving treatment. I’ve heard that some foods like grapefruit and even garlic can interfere with certain medications.

Care and Treatment

Phytochemicals can be found in brightly colored fruits, such as berries

Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants that protect plants against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Eating large amounts of brightly colored fruits and vegetables (yellow, orange, red, green, white, blue, purple), whole grains/cereals, and beans containing phytochemicals may decrease the risk of developing certain cancers as well as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The action of phytochemicals varies by color and type of the food. They may act as antioxidants or nutrient protectors, or prevent carcinogens (cancer causing agents) from forming.

Sources of phytochemicals

The list below is a partial list of phytochemicals found in foods:

  • Allicin is found in onions and garlic. Allicin blocks or eliminates certain toxins from bacteria and viruses.
  • Anthocyanins are found in red and blue fruits (such as raspberries and blueberries) and vegetables. They help to slow the aging process, protect against heart disease and tumors, prevent blood clots, and fight inflammation and allergies.
  • Biflavonoids are found in citrus fruits.
  • Carotenoids are found in dark yellow, orange, and deep green fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, parsley, oranges, pink grapefruit, and spinach.
  • Flavonoids are found in fruits, vegetables, wine, green tea, onions, apples, kale, and beans.
  • Indoles are found in broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, and turnips (also known as "cruciferous" vegetables). They contain sulfur and activate agents that destroy cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Isoflavones are found in soybeans and soybean products.
  • Lignins are found in flaxseed and whole grain products.
  • Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables. It may prevent macular degeneration and cataracts as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.
  • Lycopene is found primarily in tomato products. When cooked, it appears to reduce the risk for cancer and heart attacks.
  • Phenolics are found in citrus fruits, fruit juices, cereals, legumes, and oilseeds. It is thought to be extremely powerful, and is studied for a variety of health benefits including slowing the aging process, protecting against heart disease and tumors, and fighting inflammation, allergies, and blood clots.

Foods high in phytochemicals

Phytochemicals cannot be found in supplements and are only present in food. Foods high in phytochemicals include the following:

Top 7 Foods that Prevent Breast Cancer Tumour from Spreading


Strawberries are full of antioxidants, as well as something called ellagic acid. The antioxidants and acids in strawberries are known to prevent cancer that can affect your skin, breast tissue, lungs and even your bladder. Eating the proper amount of strawberries can cause something called apoptosis, which causes the cancer cells to die.

To get the most out of your strawberries, it’s best to eat 1 cup of strawberries a day. Strawberries can legitimately claim to be heart protective, anti-inflammatory and have anti-cancer properties – all rolled into one. They rank as one of the world’s healthiest foods.

Cooked tomatoes

Though you can eat raw tomatoes to help fight off cancer, cooked tomatoes have more strength in fighting cancer than raw ones do. Though all tomatoes contain cancer-fighting properties called lycopene, the heat from cooking them makes them more available for your body to use. Lycopene is known to slow the growth of cancerous cells in your body, which helps give you a better chance of getting rid of it with other treatments.

One-half cup of cook tomatoes once a week will help slow the growth of cancerous cells. The photochemical lycopene may be one of best disease-fighting compounds on the plate, especially if the plate contains tomatoes. Lycopene found in tomatoes and tomato products may help prevent prostate cancer.

Bok choy

Bok choy is a type of chinese cabbage, and it contains something called brassinin, which is known to be very powerful against fighting the growth of cancerous cells. Brassinin can also be found in other sprouts, such as broccoli and cauliflower. Bok choy and brassinin is best known at fighting the spread and growth of breast cancer cells.

For the best possible results, plan your meals to have bok choy (or even broccoli) in them three times a week, with a half cup serving.


Like most fish, flounder is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known to prevent inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to help prevent both the start and spread of cancerous cells. Instead of shrimp, you can substitute any seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids options include salmon, haddock, flounder and sardines.

Flounder is best for the prevention and starvation of colorectal cancer. It’s been shown that patients with more omega-3 fatty acids in their system responded better to treatments and lived longer. For the best results, flounder should be had in three 6-ounce servings at least once a week.


Artichokes are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants can cause apoptosis and even slow the growth of cancerous cells. This vegetable is best for the prevention of prostate and breast cancer, and can also be used to help slow the cancerous growth of leukemia. When eaten regularly as part of an overall cancer free lifestyle, antioxidant-rich foods such as artichoke hearts and leaves may provide anti-aging benefits and protection against degenerative diseases.

To get the most out of your artichokes and help prevent or slow the growth of cancerous cells, you should have ¼ cup of artichoke hearts a day.

Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil isn’t only loaded with risk-reducing antioxidants and phytonutrients – including squalene which inhibits tumor growth — it also has a higher monounsaturated fat content than other oils. Monounsaturated fats don’t oxidize in the body. Oxidation, a process that produces chemicals called free radicals, increases cancer risk.

Add at least two tablespoons of olive oil a day to your diet, perhaps even tossing vegetables in oil, which will make veggies tastier and encourage you to eat more. Use one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for every cup of veggies. Although it can be high in calories -about 120 calories per tablespoon- the more extra virgin olive oil in your diet, the lower your risk.


Beans are another great source of dietary fiber—plus, they’re rich in antioxidants and protein, which makes them a healthy, low-fat alternative to meat. People who eat a lot of meat have a higher risk of developing cancer subbing in plant-based protein sources like beans may help slash your risk.

One 2005 study (see references) found that women whose diets included eating beans and lentils at least twice a week had a 24 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who ate them less than once a month.

Breast cancer is a deadly disease, but there is hope if it is diagnosed in an early stage. You can easily follow a diet containing these seven superfoods and prevent the breast cancer tumour from spreading. Stay strong.

Watch the video: Καρκίνος του Πνεύμονα: Όσα πρέπει να γνωρίζετε σε 2 λεπτά (July 2022).


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