15 Foods to Prevent Breast Cancer

How eating certain foods can help reduce your risk

No specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer. However, dietary guidelines may help you reduce your overall breast cancer risk.

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, such as tobacco smoke. They not only have been linked to cancer, but also may contribute to premature aging and heart disease.

Making proactive dietary choices has no downside. In addition to potentially reducing your risk for breast cancer, healthy eating can improve your overall well-being: It helps keep your energy up, boost your immune system, and provide nutrients your body needs for maintenance and repair.

Keep reading to learn more about over a dozen different foods, spices, and other key ingredients that have anticancer properties.

If you’re concerned about your risk, talking to a doctor or a dietitian about foods to eat or avoid is a good first step. Just like genetic factors and lifestyle choices, food is only part of the picture. You shouldn’t rely on it as your only preventive action.

Drinks

Green tea

Green tea is tied to a number of benefits ranging from weight loss to blood pressure management. The popular brew has also been the subject of ongoing study in animals and humans for its role in cancer prevention.

That’s because green tea is high in polyphenol and catechins. These antioxidants may help protect cells from DNA damage caused by free radicals. More research is needed to prove its efficacy, but there’s no harm in adding a cup to your daily routine.

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice, which is derived from its seed pulp, also contains polyphenols. One 2009 study suggests that pomegranate juice has the potential to be a preventive tool for certain cancers, including breast cancer.

The researchers also proposed pomegranate extract as a viable alternative to pomegranate juice. The extract may carry the same benefits in smaller doses than the juice does.

More research is needed before any official recommendations can be made. There aren’t any clear guidelines on how much juice or extract you should drink to benefit from its effects.

If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before adding pomegranate juice to your diet. The juice is typically high in sugar and may affect your blood glucose levels.

Fruits

Berries

Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and black raspberries, contain high amounts of polyphenols, which may have anticancer properties. They’re also high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C. There is some evidence that berries may help reduce breast cancer risk. No current recommendation exists for daily dosage, though one serving of fruit is equivalent to 3/4 to 1 cup of berries.

Plums and peaches

According to a 2009 animal study, the polyphenols found in plums and peaches may help prevent breast cancer cells from forming and later multiplying. Evidence suggests the polyphenols help kill cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

There’s no downside to eating healthy fruit, but more research is needed to determine how much you should eat to benefit from its anticancer properties.