No specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer. However, dietary guidelines can help you reduce your overall risk of breast cancer.
For example, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can be beneficial. Antioxidants help protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules released by toxins, like tobacco smoke. Not only have they been linked to cancer, but they can also contribute to premature aging and heart disease.
Making proactive dietary decisions is okay. In addition to potentially reducing the risk of breast cancer, healthy eating can improve your overall well-being: it helps maintain your energy, boost your immune system, and provide the nutrients your body needs for maintenance and repair.
Breast cancer is just one of many types of cancer, as it grows and develops in the tissue of the mammary glands. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are 2 types: ductal carcinoma, and lobular carcinoma.
Risk factors for breast cancer.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that some people have genetic mutations that make them more prone. The most common genetic defects are found in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which usually make proteins that protect us from cancer.
Age and children.
Women who have never had children or who had children after the age of 30 also have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Getting pregnant more than once or at an early age reduces the risk of developing this type of cancer.
Read on to learn more about foods, spices, and other key ingredients that have anti-cancer properties.
10 Foods That Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer.
If you’re concerned about your risk, talking to a doctor or dietitian about what foods to eat or avoid is a good first step. Like genetic factors and lifestyle choices, food is only part of the picture. You should not rely on it as your only preventive action.
Green tea is linked to a number of benefits ranging from weight loss to blood pressure management. It has also been the subject of studies for its role in cancer prevention.
It is because green tea is rich in polyphenols and catechins. These antioxidants can help protect cells from DNA damage caused by free radicals. It has proven to be a great ally in slowing the spread of breast cancer cells, as well as preventing skin, colon and prostate cancer. More research is needed to prove its effectiveness, but there is nothing wrong with adding a cup to your daily routine.
These vegetables are generally rich in antioxidant vitamins, such as C, E, and K, and are rich in fiber. Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, a type of chemical. This chemical, as well as the other components found in cruciferous vegetables, may have cancer-fighting properties.
Popular cruciferous vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts.
Pomegranate juice, which is derived from its seed pulp, also contains polyphenols. A 2009 study suggests that pomegranate juice has the potential to be a preventative tool for certain cancers, including breast cancer.
The researchers also proposed pomegranate extract as a viable alternative to pomegranate juice. The extract can have the same benefits in smaller doses than the juice.
More research is needed before any official recommendation can be made. There are no clear guidelines on how much juice or extract you should drink to benefit from its effects.
If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before adding pomegranate juice to your diet. Juice is typically high in sugar and can affect your blood glucose levels.
Part of the allium family of vegetables, garlic is known for its distinctive flavor and aroma. There may be a connection between higher intake of garlic and other allium vegetables, such as onions, and a reduction in the growth of breast cancer cells.
Researchers in a 2017 study looked at the effects of garlic and other allium vegetables on breast cancer cells. They found a positive effect in both estrogen-dependent breast cancer and estrogen-independent breast cancer.
Dark, leafy greens.
The darker the green, the denser the nutrition. Greens are generally high in antioxidants and fiber, which can make them powerful anti-cancer tools.
Popular options include:
- Swiss chard.
- Cabbage, mustard, turnip and beetroot.
Berries to prevent breast cancer.
Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and black raspberries, contain high amounts of polyphenols, which can have anti-cancer properties. They are also high in the antioxidant’s anthocyanins and ellagic acid that have been shown in cell culture studies to reduce free radical damage to healthy cells .
There is some evidence that berries can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. There is no current recommendation for daily dosage, although a serving of fruit equals 3/4 to 1 cup of berries.
Plums and peaches.
According to a 2009 animal study, polyphenols found in plums and peaches can help prevent breast cancer cell formation and further multiplication. Evidence suggests that polyphenols help kill cancer cells while leaving cells healthy.
They are popular because they have rich amounts of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and polyphenols, as well as a phytochemical called ellagitannins, which interferes with the production of aromatase, an enzyme that increases the production of hormones in breast tissue.
Studies applied in mice have found that consuming walnuts in a healthy diet and throughout life reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by half since it reduces the growth of tumors thanks to its composition rich in omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols or antioxidants.
Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, may play an important role in blocking the expression of a molecule called RANKL, which is found in the deadliest and most aggressive breast cancer tumor cells. It also helps prevent skin cancer.
Much of the research on its anticancer properties has been done in mice or in vitro cell culture.
Some studies have found that consuming more lycopene, an antioxidant found in this vegetable, can slow the growth of the cells that cause breast cancer. Other research shows its effectiveness against bladder, prostate, lung and ovarian cancer.