Much like any other disease, the foods you eat play a role in prevention and risk. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, eating the right foods can help you recover and go into remission. These foods should never replace your treatment plan, but they are a good way to complement traditional medicine.
Fight Breast Cancer with Fruits and Vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which are natural plant compounds that fight free radical damage and help ward off the cellular changes that lead to cancer. The experts encourage you to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts seem to have a particularly beneficial effect on fighting cancer. Brightly colored produce, such as sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and blueberries are also prime choices.
Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains are things like 100% whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal and popcorn. Like fruits and vegetables, they are high in antioxidants, which makes them the perfect addition to a cancer diet. The fiber in whole grains also help to regulate hormone production, which is important when you're fighting breast cancer. Aim to get 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Read labels carefully to be sure you are choosing foods that contain 100% whole grains. That includes when you buy bread, cereal and crackers.
Add Fish to Your Diet
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and trout, contains omega-3 fatty acids, which research shows can help inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. If you don't like fish, you can try a supplement instead. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate amount for you. Flaxseed is a great vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids if you prefer not to eat fish. You can add them to baked goods, smoothies, or pancakes and they won't dramatically alter the flavor of your food.
Garnish and Flavor Your Meals
Many spices, garnishes and flavorings have positive effects on fighting cancer. Good options include mustard, horseradish, garlic, dill, basil, mint, sage, caraway seeds, fennel and parsley. Experiment with these to find ways of incorporating them into your meal plan. Use them to make marinades, salad dressings, dry rubs or anything else you like. The more variety, the better.
What Not to Eat
Just like there are certain foods you should be adding to your meal plan, there are some you should be avoiding. Limit your intake of saturated fat, which can be found in certain cuts of meat, whole milk dairy foods and organ meats. Avoid trans fats, which are found in packaged snacks, premade desserts, frozen meals and fast food. Make a point of eating as much whole, fresh food as possible and it will be easier to avoid the junk food you need to stay away from.