Foods that fight breast cancer

Oct 1, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. ET

Diet is a deliciously powerful defense against breast cancer and other types of cancers.

Happy woman eating strawberry

Incorporating the following cancer-fighting foods into your everyday meals will not only reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, it will also benefit your overall health.

strawberryFruits and vegetables

Teeming with antioxidants and other health-promoting phytonutrients, fruits and vegetables are a crucial component of a cancer-fighting diet, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. In addition to reducing the risk of breast cancer, fruits and vegetables may also prevent recurrence of the potentially life-threatening disease. The richly-colored orange, yellow, dark red and green fruits and vegetables have been found to be particularly effective in fighting cancer. Stock up at your local farmers market or supermarket and eat your colors for breast health.

Check out this avocado salad recipe >>

salmonFatty fish

In addition to being high in omega-3s, which have been shown to decrease tumor growth and boost immune system function, fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, are a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin because your body will naturally manufacture it upon exposure to the sun, is not only essential for bone health, research suggests that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent as well as reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

Try this honey-soy broiled salmon recipe >>

green teaGreen tea

You may want to trade in your morning mug of coffee for a cup of green tea. A rich source of flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant effects, three to four servings of green tea every day may reduce your risk of breast cancer, especially if you are post-menopausal, and other types cancers such as ovarian cancer.

Whip up this green tea berry smoothie recipe >>


Broccoli — and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage and kale — has been shown to be a delicious dietary defense against breast cancer. Researchers have found that a compound in broccoli, indole-3c-arbinol, hinders the growth of breast cancer cells and may augment the efficacy of cancer drugs (though more research needs to be done in this area). The best way to reap the benefits of broccoli is to eat it raw or lightly cooked since the cancer-fighting compound breaks down under high heat.

Check out this chicken, broccoli and stuffing casserole recipe >>

lentilsBeans and lentils

Research suggests that women who frequently eat beans and lentils are less likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who don't consume the good-for-you legumes. High-fat, low-fiber diets have been linked to cancer, while plant-based diets are associated with lower rates of cancer. Beans and lentils are not only a healthy protein alternative to high-fat meats, they are also loaded with antioxidants, fiber and phytoestrogens, which have been proven to reduce breast cancer risk.

Try this lentils and vegetables recipe >>

Watch: How to reduce your risk of breast cancer gives you a few tips on how to reduce your risk of getting the second most common cancer, breast cancer!

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