The Best 10 Foods to Prevent Breast Cancer

The Best 10 Foods to Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is characterized by the malignant growth of epithelial cells of the ducts or lobules of the breast.

Breast cancer can develop in both men and women but predominantly occurs in women.

Worldwide breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death amongst women. Breast cancer incidence and mortality rates are increasing in most countries, including developed and third world such as Africa and Asia.

The different types of breast cancer include:

  • lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
  • ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
  • invasive ductal carcinoma (70% to 80% of all breast cancers)
  • Paget's disease of the nipple
  • inflammatory carcinoma
  • other uncommon types

Women detect 90% of their breast cancers with breast self-examination (BSE) when they feel a lump in their breasts. Early detection and appropriate treatment can improve the survival rate of breast cancer.



What should you eat if you have breast cancer?

Studies showed eating more of the following cancer-fighting foods may help to prevent and inhibit the growth of cancer cells:

 #1. Soy Foods (Tofu, Tempeh, Edamame, Soy Protein, Soy Milk & Miso)

Soy contains estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones. Studies on the effect that isoflavones have on breast cancer have yielded mixed results. Women throughout Asia, who for centuries have eaten much more tofu and other soy products than Australians, are much less likely to develop breast cancer than Australian women. This means that soy may offer protective benefits to women who have a history of breast cancer—lowering the risk of death and cancer recurrence.

Research results indicate that the impact of soy consumption on breast cancer risk is dependent on the stage of life. Higher soy intake during adolescence when breasts are developing appears to be protective against breast cancer later in life [1].

A meta-analysis study showed that breast cancer risk is reduced by 7.8% in soy consumers [2].

In 2016 study, patients who already have breast cancer eating both 5-10 g of soy protein daily and the Mediterranean diet gives the best outcome [3].

Epidemiological and animal studies indicate isoflavones may have synergistic effects with tamoxifen in cancer models and may reduce the development of tamoxifen resistance. Caution is advised if using soy or high dose of isoflavone supplements in conjunction with tamoxifen [4].

The amount of soy intake necessary to protect against the development of breast cancer is thought to be 25-100mg of isoflavones per day.

Eat only organic and non-GMO soy foods to avoid hormone-potentiating pesticide residues.

#2. Flaxseed Oil and Ground Flaxseed

A cohort study of 121 patients with a localised breast cancer suggests that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may lower the breast cancer risk [5].

Case-control studies in France and Uruguay show that flaxseed significantly reduced the risk of breast cancer [6, 7].

Take 1tbsp of flaxseed oil and 2tbsp of ground flaxseed each day.

#3. Oily Fish and Omega-3 Fish Oil

A case-control study of 718 Korean women suggests that high consumption of fatty fish and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from fish oil significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer for pre and post-menopausal women [8].

It is recommended to eat ocean fish such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, ocean trout, halibut, cod, and herring as they contain low mercury. Eat 2 – 3 servings of a variety of fish per week.

A pilot study published in Nutrition and Cancer demonstrates that taking 4 g of fish oil contains EPA and DHA daily reduces bone resorption in post-menopausal breast cancer survivors [17].

Always buy high-quality fish oil supplements as cheap quality fish oil often gets rancid and causes inflammation in the body which does more harm than good. If you can’t afford to buy high-quality fish oil supplements, eat the wild-caught fatty fish.

#4. Matcha or Sencha Green Tea

The latest research found matcha green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells MCF7 by targeting mitochondrial metabolism, cell cycle regulation, antioxidant response, and inflammation. These findings strongly propose that matcha green tea may help overcome cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy [9].

Drink 2-3 cups of sencha or matcha tea a day. Boil the water. Pour it in a cup with matcha tea. Let it stand for 10 minutes before drinking to ensure catechin release.

Always buy organic matcha or sencha green tea as green tea is heavily sprayed with chemicals. Absolute Green Certified Organic Green Tea Powder is one of my favourite green teas.


#5. Watercress

Watercress is a member of the Brassicaceae (cruciferous vegetable) family, which includes bok choy, cauliflower, collards, broccoli, and mustard greens.

It is a powerful antioxidant and a substantial source of vitamins K and C, beta-carotene, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and fiber.

Watercress is also a valuable source of phytonutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, rutin, glucinolates, and nasturtiin, the precursor to phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a major cancer-fighting compound.

The many active components of watercress are found primarily in its leaves.

Watercress plays a major role in cancer prevention. Many studies indicate that watercress lowers the risk of prostate, colon, lung and breast cancers. A recent study reported that watercress is able to decrease damage to DNA and increase carotenoid concentrations in blood and reduce cancer risk [10, 11, 12].

Limit consumption of watercress if you have hyperthyroidism due to its high iodine content.

#6. Seaweed

Seaweed (sea vegetables) are algae and they grow in both fresh- and salt-water lakes and seas. While relatively new to the cuisine of Western cultures, the Japanese and Korean have included seaweed in their diet for centuries.

Seaweed contains unique phytonutrients including fucoidans (sulfated polysaccharides). Fucoidans have powerful anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, and antiviral properties.

Seaweed provides sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel, and cobalt. Seaweed is also an excellent source of iodine.

Some of the most widely used varieties of seaweed include the following:

  • Nori is best known for its use in making sushi rolls. Nori is naturally dark purple to black in colour but turns phosphorescent green when toasted.
  • Kelp can range in colour from light brown to dark green and is frequently used in a flake form.
  • Hijiki is black and wiry and has a strong flavour.
  • Kombu is very dark in colour and is frequently used in strips or sheets, or as a flavouring agent in soups.
  • Wakame is similar to Kombu and is commonly used to make miso soup.
  • Arame is a lacy, delicate seaweed that has a mild and somewhat sweet flavour.
  • Dulse is a chewy, reddish-brown seaweed.

Seaweed has a great capacity for absorbing and retaining minerals from the water in which it grows. This can pose a risk if the water is contaminated because seaweed absorbs unwanted elements such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium.

All seaweed contains traces of arsenic, and hijiki has the highest capacity for arsenic absorption. It is advised to avoid the consumption of hijiki unless it is verified to contain very low levels of arsenic and is certified as organic.

Study results show that Japanese women who consume high amounts of seaweed have significantly lower rates of breast cancer than women who consume a typical Western diet.

The research concluded that seaweed, rosemary, and American ginseng are beneficial in breast cancer treatment and for women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer [13].

A study published in Nutrition Cancer compared the effectiveness of red seaweed and tamoxifen in breast cancer treatment. The findings show orally intake red seaweed extract (100 mg/kg of body-weight) was 27% more effective than tamoxifen in suppressing tumour growth, improving plasma, liver, and kidneys [14]

A Korean case-control study of 362 women indicates that a high intake of laver (Gim) seaweed reduced the breast cancer risk however wakame (Miyeok) seaweed did not significantly reduce breast cancer risk [15].

#7. Rhubarb Root

Researchers investigated the activity of anthraquinones isolated from the roots of rhubarb found that the Physcion inhibits the growth of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells [16]

#8. Peach

In vivo study, the results showed that consuming 2 – 3 peaches or using peach polyphenol extract powder everyday inhibits tumour growth and reduces the risk of metastasis on MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells [17].

#9. Pomegranate Skin

Pomegranate has antioxidant and anticancer properties. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found the consumption of pomegranate fruit peel extract 200 - 300 μg/mL significantly reduces the MCF-7 cancer cell growth after 2 – 3 days [16].

Blooms Bio-Fermented Papaya With Pomegranate Concentrate contains probiotics, pomegranate concentrate, and papaya. Buy here.

#10. Walnuts

Animal studies found that walnuts suppress and inhibit colorectal cancer growth, reduce prostate tumour size and breast cancer risk [17, 18].

What a breast cancer patient should not eat?

  • Avoid high saturated fat intake: A large Nurses’ Health cohort study found a high intake of saturated fat increased the risk of breast cancer to 50%. The researchers suggest that rather than the fat itself, other components of fatty animal products such as hormones in whole cow’s milk could play a role in increased risk [1]

         Foods containing saturated fat are:

    • fatty beef
    • lamb
    • pork
    • poultry with skin
    • beef fat (tallow)
    • lard
    • cream
    • butter
    • cheese
    • other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat 2% milk. 
  • Eliminate foods that increase oestrogen levels and the liver's ability to metabolize it. These include non-organic poultry, dairy, red meat, sugar, white flour, refined foods and methyxanthines (coffee, tea, chocolate, and colas).
  • Avoid a high intake of refined grains, red meats, desserts, French fries, and deep-fried foods.
  • Avoid eating processed meats such as bacon, salami, frankfurts, ham.
  • Avoid eating cured/smoked fish or meats. 

Breast Cancer Diet Menu

The breast cancer diet menu should contain:

  • a variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups: dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy, and roots
  • fruits, especially whole and colourful fruits
  • whole grains
  • fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • olive oil, flaxseed oil

Cancer Diet Books


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  • Sounds excellent.Please, I’d like to subscribe to your emails.Please keep going with your good work.


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