15 Foods to Prevent Breast Cancer

Foods to limit or avoid

No specific food or food group has been found to cause or worsen breast cancer. However, some evidence links alcohol use to increased rates of breast cancer in some women.

It’s thought that drinking alcoholic beverages can increase your risk for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. This may be because alcohol can increase your levels of estrogen and other hormones that are tied to this form of breast cancer.

Although more research is needed, current data estimates that women who drink three alcoholic beverages a week are 15 percent more likely than women who don’t drink to develop breast cancer. This risk may increase another 10 percent for every additional weekly drink.

Diets to follow

There isn’t any one anticancer diet to follow. The best thing you can do is eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. It may also be beneficial to reduce or eliminate processed foods, added sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats.

You may find that food plans emphasizing these principles help you stay on track with your nutritional goals.

For example, the Mediterranean diet encourages high levels of:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • olive oil

It also encourages eating fish and poultry instead of red meat, which contains saturated fat.

The bottom line

It’s no secret that what you eat affects your health. Diet and nutrition is an important aspect of preventing and fighting breast cancer. More research is needed to determine where the impact is greatest.

Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables lose some nutritional value when they aren’t fresh. This can make it harder to determine how much you should eat to obtain the greatest value. Talk with your doctor or a dietitian to help develop a meal plan tailored to your needs and limitations.

As important as eating healthy is, so is preventive screening and reducing environmental toxins that can contribute to cell mutations. Make sure to schedule mammograms and breast sonograms annually, or follow the guidelines determined for you by your doctor.