Foods to Beat Breast Cancer
No single diet or food is guaranteed to protect you against breast cancer, or any other form of cancer for that matter. But I do believe it's possible to stack the odds in your favor by focusing on eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, watching your weight, and making sure you're getting enough vitamin D.
That said, here are some specific foods that may offer a measure of protection against certain cancers. Most of these foods contain specific compounds that have been shown, in laboratory or animal studies, to exhibit some form of anticancer activity. Sometimes these natural compounds exhibit multiple anti-cancer activities. Large, expensive, (improbable) clinical trials would be needed to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that eating broccoli every day, for example, can significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer. But there is plenty of preliminary evidence to suggest that this may be so.
For that matter, all vegetables in the brassica family (cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, parsley, etc.) contain chemicals that are converted within the gut into potent anticancer chemicals.
Population (epidemiological) studies show that people who eat the greatest amounts of these foods are significantly less likely to develop certain types of cancer than people who consume the least amount of these foods. As I noted, this doesn't prove causation, but it sure seems like more than mere coincidence. This is especially true when you review laboratory evidence that shows a variety of mechanisms by which the chemicals in brassica vegetables fight cancer.
Some natural health advocates are convinced that soy is bad for you because it contains compounds that are described as "weakly estrogenic." This means they resemble natural estrogen compounds enough to bind with estrogen receptors on tissues. Since some forms of breast cancer are "driven" by estrogen, some people fear that soy and other "phytoestrogen"-containing foods may somehow increase the risk of breast cancer.
But epidemiological evidence suggests otherwise. Again, these are not the kinds of studies that can prove causation. But a recent Japanese study concluded that women with the highest intake of soy—which is already popular in this Asian country—had the lowest risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Experts speculate that plant-based estrogenic compounds actually interfere with the ability of natural estrogen to fuel the growth of estrogen-positive cancers.
Fish can be an excellent source of essential nutrients called omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that a majority of American do not get enough of these anti-inflammatory nutrients in the diet, while consuming too many pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, from foods like corn or soybean oil. To correct this imbalance, switch to olive oil and eat wild salmon. As an added benefit, wild salmon contains a potent natural antioxidant, astaxanthin.
Finally, eat more plant foods in general. A recent study of nearly 100,000 American women concluded that women who ate more plant foods enjoyed a lower risk of breast cancer.