Vegetables: These include broccoli, cauliflower,
brussel sprouts, bok choy, mustard greens. They contain sulforaphane and
indole-3-carbinol (antioxidants) and helps to covert unhealthy estrogens into
healthy ones. No other group of foods currently has more scientific support
suggesting it can help prevent breast cancer. For example, a study in China
found cruciferous vegetable consumption was linked to better survival in breast
cancer patients. Crucifers also help in the prevention of other cancers.
Contain perillyl alcohol, a powerful inhibitor of many kinds of
cancer. Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, which are potent natural
anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. One large study demonstrated that a
high intake of cherries and related fruits was linked to low breast cancer
Contain several ingredients shown to help slow cancer
progression, including phytosterols, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. In
addition, walnuts have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,
by reducing “bad” cholesterol levels (LDL), while at the same time increasing
levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL).
Contains a group of compounds known as organosulfides,
which have a multitude of physiological effects such as reducing platelet
aggregation, reducing blood lipids, killing bacteria and fungus, and
stimulating the immune system. Organosulfides are most potent when the garlic
is first crushed or diced and allowed to sit 10 minutes before using. Several
studies have shown garlic may help confer some protection against several
different cancers, including breast cancer.
Salmon: Science suggests
that women with increased levels of omega-3s (which reduces inflammation) in
their tissues lower their risk of breast cancer. A study done at the University
of Southern California showed that women who were postmenopausal and ate a
small portion of fish daily were less likely to develop breast cancer than
women who averaged less than one ounce a day. In addition, one recent
randomized controlled trial showed omega-3s help prevent neuropathy in breast
cancer patients. Conversely, a higher intake of omega 6’s – known to increase
inflammation – has been associated with increased levels of inflammation in
breast cancer survivors.
Turmeric: Contains curcuminoids and other
aromatic oils that exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity; as well
as protecting against DNA damaging free radicals. One randomized
controlled trial, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,
suggested that curcumin supplements can reduce skin damage due to radiation
therapy in breast cancer patients.
Soy, such as miso, tofu, tempeh: Contain what are known as phytoestrogens, or weak
plant-like estrogens. These phytochemicals are known as isoflavones; and
eating soy foods, especially starting in adolescence, can reduce a woman’s risk
of developing breast cancer, as one study of Canadian women suggested.
It’s also important to note that a recent review by the Block Center's research
staff did not find any indication that soy foods are potentially problematic for breast cancer patients (we
suggest non-GMO soy foods).
Green Tea: Contains catechins. Research suggests that catechins can
inhibit telomerase (an enzyme) in cancer cells, with the goal of disrupting
their immortality, and helping normalize cell replication. Green tea
consumption is linked to a lowered risk of breast and other cancers.
Flaxseeds: Contain significant amounts of cancer-fighting lignans, which
may protect due to their estrogen altering abilities, anti-angiogenic
properties, and the ability to reduce the chances of cancer cells spreading. In
addition, adding flaxseed to the diet increased levels of endostatin, a natural
anti-angiogenic, in breast tissue.
Berries, such as blueberries,
strawberries, and raspberries: Strawberries,
blackberries, and raspberries contain a common powerful cancer fighter called
ellagic acid. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries contain an abundance of
anthocyanidins, which are antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of a
number of cancers.
For more information on The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment, call (847) 230-9107 or visit BlockMD.com.