Superstar Foods for Breast Health
As someone who has a strong family history of breast cancer and as a member of Prevent Cancer Foundation‘s scientific advisory board, I want to share my top food picks for maximizing breast health.
- Beans/Lentils – This category of food is uniquely high in several nutrients important for breast cancer protection, including fiber, folic acid, and phytoestrogens called lignin’s. According to Harvard’s Nurses’ Study, those who consumed beans or lentil at least twice a week were 24% less likely to get breast cancer than those who consumed them less than once a week.
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower) – Phytochemicals found in this class of vegetables, namely sulforaphane and indoles are among the most potent naturally occurring anti-breast cancer agents ever identified. It’s best to eat cruciferous vegetables raw or lightly cooked, as their phytochemicals can be destroyed by heat.
- Carotenoid-rich vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, collards, spinach and sweet potatoes) – This delicious and super-nutritious group gets their anti-cancer punch from plant pigments called carotenoids. In addition to providing yellow, red and orange hues, carotenoids offer broad-spectrum, natural chemoprevention. Light cooking actually increases the bioavailability of carotenoids, so enjoy this group of veggies cooked for optimal results.
- Oily Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring) – Oily fish are loaded with the superstar omega 3 fats and the only food that naturally contains significant amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a critical role in breast cancer protection and deficiencies are quite common. You can now get Wild Alaskan Salmon in a single serving, convenient shelf-stable vacuum sealed packets. I dump this on a big plate of greens for lunch 2-3x per week.
For those concerned with breast cancer, my Healthy Breasts Grocery Lists are now available.