While there is no one single food or diet that can prevent or cause breast cancer, diet is an area in which individual choices can make a real difference. Breast cancer is a complex disease with many contributing factors. Some of these factors, such as age, family history, genetics, and gender, cannot be controlled.
However, there are factors that individuals can control, which include smoking, not exercising, being overweight, and their diet. Some researchers maintain that diet could be responsible for 30 to 40 percent of all cancers.
Top foods to eat to fight breast cancer
Breast cancer can start in different places, grow in different ways, and require different kinds of treatment. Just as certain cancers respond better to certain treatments, certain cancers respond well to specific foods.
A variety of fruits and vegetables is important for a healthful diet but may also help to prevent breast cancer.
The following foods are considered part of a healthful diet in general, and they may help to prevent the development or progression of breast cancer:
- a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
- foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, and legumes
- low-fat milk and dairy products
- soybean-based products
- foods rich in vitamin D
- foods, particularly spices, with anti-inflammatory properties
A study of more than 91,000 women found that following a diet comprising mainly plants could cut the risk of developing breast cancer by 15 percent. The Ida & Joseph Friend Cancer Center recommend between 8 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Along with their other benefits, fruits and vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids, which are linked to a host of medical benefits. Studies have found the following fruits and vegetables to be good for preventing breast cancer:
- dark, green, leafy vegetables
- citrus fruit