10 Foods That Can Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
No food can completely prevent or cure breast cancer, but adding these to your diet can seriously lower your cancer risk.
Olive oil is a famously healthy fat, and now, research suggests it has cancer-fighting potential. Researchers in Spain conducted a five-year study of 4,300 women to track how characteristics of a Mediterranean diet impacted breast cancer risk. One group of women consumed extra servings of extra virgin olive oil, another added an extra serving of nuts, and the third reduced fat intake. The group supplemented with olive oil had 62 percent fewer cancer diagnoses than the women who only cut back on fat. These are breast cancer symptoms you might not know about.
Good news, coffee addicts. Scientists at Fudan University in China found that one extra cup of coffee each day can reduce your cancer risk by 3 percent. It has an even greater effect on women taking the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen, a standard treatment for patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. A study from Lund University in Sweden showed that women who drank two or more cups of joe per day while taking the drug cut the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in half.
Don’t throw away those apple peels; they’re ripe with cancer-fighting compounds. According to a Cornell University study, triterpenoids and phytochemicals, compounds found in apple peels, can inhibit or kill tumor growth in breast cancer cells. Stop believing these myths about common breast cancer causes.
Even a small snack could make a big impact on breast cancer prevention, according to a study from the Marshall University School of Medicine. When mice with human breast cancer ate the human equivalent of two servings of walnuts each day, they stumped their cancer’s growth rate by 80 percent. Plus, the group of mice that ate walnuts had 40 percent fewer tumors than those that didn’t eat the nuts. While more research is needed to confirm these findings for humans, adding more antioxidant-filled walnuts to your diet can’t hurt.
Salmon is a popular type of omega-3 rich fish, and omega-3 fatty acids can work wonders for your health. Chinese researchers reviewed 21 studies and found that consuming n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 is in this category) from fish was associated with a 14 percent reduction in breast cancer risk. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acids can also decrease breast density in obese postmenopausal women. This is crucial because dense breasts can be six times more likely to develop cancer. Here are 7 times when a lump in your breast actually isn’t cancer.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, bok choy, cabbage, radishes, and cauliflower. Key nutrients in this group of veggies can stop breast cancer cells from growing, but a study from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute showed that eating broccoli in particular helped reduce breast cancer risk in premenopausal women.
Here’s another veggie that can keep your breasts healthy. High amounts of carotenoids, a type of pigment in carrots, can decrease the risk of breast cancer by up to 28 percent, according to a Harvard study. In particular, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene can lower the risk of recurring diagnoses and death by breast cancer by as much as 68 percent. Make room for more of these other foods proven to fight cancer in your diet, too.
Parsley contains a plant compound called apigenin. When University of Missouri professor Salman Hyder exposed rats with breast cancer to apigenin, the rats developed fewer tumors and experienced significant delays in tumor formation. Scientists still aren’t sure what the exact dosage of apigenin should be for humans, but they recommend eating a little every day. Learn some symptoms of cancer women are likely to ignore.
A 2010 study published by the American Association for Cancer Research showed that phytochemicals in blueberries act aggressively against cancer cells and can stop them from spreading. They may also affect the size of tumors. Tumors in mice that were treated with blueberry extract before getting cancer were smaller than those in mice who had no exposure to blueberries.
It’s never too early to start the fight against breast cancer, even in your teenage years. A Harvard study found that women who ate more high-fiber foods, like whole wheat bread and beans, as young adults lowered their overall breast cancer risk by 16 percent. Researchers studied questionnaires from over 90,000 women who documented their food intake every four years and what they ate in high school. High fiber intake was also associated with a 24 percent lower risk of breast cancer before menopause, and just ten additional grams of daily fiber led to a 13 percent lower risk. Next, learn some more simple changes you can make to reduce your risk of breast cancer.