17 Foods that Prevent Breast Cancer - Foods to Avoid and Take

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Priyanka Sharma
Written by Dr Sania Datta, last updated on 2 December 2022
17 Foods that Prevent Breast Cancer - Foods to Avoid and Take

One of the most frequent types of cancer in women is breast cancer. Around 1 in 8 women develop breast cancer throughout their life. Men may also develop breast cancer. However, it accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases.

The risk of developing breast cancer is influenced by many factors, such as genetic and lifestyle factors. The lifestyle factors, such as food, play an eminent role in developing and managing any disease, and breast cancer is no exception. Some foods are considered cancer-fighting as they stop cancer cells growth and kill them with their anti-cancer properties. At the same time, other foods promote its growth.

This post will discuss 17 food items that may help lower your chance of breast cancer and some food items that need to be avoided for breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of deadly cancer that develops in the breasts due to the formation of tumour cells. It is the most prevalent class of cancer in women all around the globe. Men are also at risk of developing breast cancer. However, the chances are not as much as for females.

The common causes of breast cancer include:

  1. Urban lifestyle
  2. Obesity
  3. Radiation susceptibility
  4. Dense breasts 
  5. Ageing 
  6. Genetic mutations
  7. Inadequate diets and fast foods also play a significant role in forming breast cancer. 
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Foods that Prevent Breast Cancer

Below are 17 foods that help to fight breast cancer. However, breast cancer patients must talk to their doctors before taking any food or diets. 

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cabbage and other members of the cabbage family are cruciferous vegetables. They are among the best breast cancer-fighting foods. They naturally consist of Glucosinolates, which, when consumed, get converted into Isothiocyanates (ITCs) in the body. These ITCs help to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. Some main Isothiocyanates include benzyl ITC, sulforaphane, and phenethyl ITC.

Other cruciferous vegetables that help fight breast cancer are:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Cauliflower
  3. Brussels sprouts

Allium Veggies 

Allium is a Greek term for garlic. Regardless, these veggies boast around 500 species. A high intake of allium vegetables is extensively useful against breast cancer. They contain a protective compound called organosulfur compounds. These compounds possess brilliant anti-cancer properties and are beneficial to breast cancer. 

Some of the best breast cancer-fighting allium vegetables include:

  1. Garlic
  2. Onion
  3. Chives (Green stems of onions and garlic)


Spinach is one of the best anti-cancer foods. It contains antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. These antioxidants, especially beta carotene, help reduce breast cancer risk by disturbing cancer cells' growth.

Apart from spinach, other leafy green vegetables that prevent breast cancer are:

  1. Mustard (Sarson) 
  2. Fenugreek (Methi)  
  3. Lamb’s quarter (Bathua)
  4. Radish (Mooli)


One of the best fruits for cancer patients, precisely for breast cancer patients, is pumpkin. It consists of fibres and beta-carotene, which are beneficial against breast cancer.


  1. Beans are healthy for the breast as they contain high amounts of fibre. Total fibre consumption may reduce the risk of breast cancer by 8%. 
  2. Other than that, beans also have anti-cancer components, flavonoids. That is the reason beans have emerged as one of the best breast cancer-fighting foods. 

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are one of the best fruits for cancer patients. They comprise Citrus folium and Nobiletin (NOB). Apart from that, they also contain Carotenoids and Beta carotene. All of them make great anti-cancer agents. Thus, together they inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. 

Some of the impactful citrus fruits are:

  1. Lemons
  2. Limes
  3. Grapefruits
  4. Oranges


  1. Pomegranate comprises useful components, such as anthocyanin, ursolic acid, ellagic acid, omega-5 fatty acids, etc. They possess anti-estrogen activity, which helps to kill the breast tumour cells in the body.
  2. According to a study, consuming pomegranate juice reduces the risk of breast cancer.


The bioactive elements present in berries inhibit the growth of tumour cells.  Therefore, it turns out to be fruitful against breast cancer. A study suggests that high consumption of berries directly correlates with increased breast cancer patients' survival rates. 

Apples and Pears

Apple’s phytochemical and flavonoid, quercetin has anti-cancer properties. This is what makes apples one of the anti-cancer foods. A detailed NIH study reports apples to be associated with reduced risk of cancer. Moreover, pears contain anti-cancer agents too.


Walnuts are a hub for healthy fats and alpha-linolenic acid. Eating walnuts daily might profoundly impact the slowing down of breast tumours. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer, for the same. Urolithins, a compound found in walnuts, are believed to repress breast cancer tumours.


Curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, has significant anti-cancer properties. This compound helps fight breast cancer by invading and killing the cancer cells in the breast. It also disturbs the birth cycle of the affected cells. Therefore, turmeric is a great source to fight breast cancer. 


  1. Consuming flaxseed is highly fruitful for breast cancer patients. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer in healthy women. Flaxseeds are abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and alpha-linolenic acid. All of them make a powerful resource to help prevent breast cancer. 
  2. Further, flaxseed contains lignans, which restrict cell growth with its cancer-preventive quality.  


Cumin plays a crucial role in working against breast cancer. Its seed and chief component, Thymoquinone, carry chemopreventive features. They work together to suppress the growth of tumour cells. Thus, cumin is considered to be propitious against breast cancer. 

Whole Grains

Whole grains are home to essential bioactive phytochemicals that work against breast cancer. Their consumption can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 47%.

List of whole grains beneficial against breast cancer are as follows:

  1. Wheat
  2. Quinoa
  3. Brown Rice 
  4. Barley
  5. Oatmeal

Fermented Products

Fermented products consist of probiotics. These probiotics stop the growth of dividing cancer cells. Therefore, they are deemed to be effective against breast cancer.

Some fermented products useful against breast cancer are:

  1. Yoghurt
  2. Soy Products
  3. Kefir

Olive Oil

Olive oil contains MUFA and polyphenols. They both display an inverse association with breast cancer. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) helps the body fight against cancerous cells. 

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish oil helps prevent the risk of breast cancer by ceasing or slowing down the formation of breast cancer cells. In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are a proven source to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

A few of the best fatty fish for preventing breast cancer are:

  1. Salmon (Ravas)
  2. Tuna (Kera)
  3. Sardines (Pedve)
  4. Mackerel (Bangada)

Foods to Avoid in Breast Cancer

Several foods should be avoided to help prevent breast cancer. If consumed in high amounts, these foods might ignite tumour cell formation.

Here is a list of foods breast cancer patients must avoid: 

Refined Carbs

  1. Refined carbs, such as carbohydrates if consumed in high quantities, lead to weight gain and thus obesity. Therefore, it should be avoided to help prevent breast cancer.
  2. One should consume whole grains more than refined carbs. 

Red Meat 

  1. A Harvard study reports consuming red meat in early adulthood might increase the chances of breast cancer by 13%. 

Junk Foods 

  1. Junk and fried foods may carry carcinogenic elements in them. Not only that, these foods invite obesity too, a close friend of breast cancer. 

Ultra-Processed Foods

  1. Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) contain carcinogenic agents. Thus, it should be avoided. Some UPFs are ice cream, biscuits, and carbonated drinks.  


  1. Sugar and sugary drinks have no direct contact with breast cancer. However, these drinks may cause obesity, leading to breast cancer.


  1. Alcohol is considered one of the major reasons for breast cancer development. WHO reports 7 out of 100 new breast cancer cases in Europe were due to the consumption of alcohol. 

Table Showing Foods to Take and Avoid to Fight Breast Cancer


Leafy green vegetables



Red meat


Ultra-processed foods

Flaxseed Sugar

Refined Carbs


To conclude, consume a diet that contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. These foods possess anti-cancer agents such as phytochemicals, carotenoids, vitamin B and C, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Also, you should avoid eating fried foods, alcohol, red meat, and processed foods. 

Talk to your doctor if you have breast cancer or want to reduce its risk. Get yourself a diet that focuses on decreasing the chances of breast cancer. You can also contact the HexaHealth team of doctors and receive expert advice for free. Visit HexaHealth for a FREE appointment right now! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 10 best cancer-fighting foods?

The ten best cancer-fighting foods are:

  1. Leafy vegetables
  2. Citrus fruits
  3. Apples and pears
  4. Allium vegetables
  5. Turmeric
  6. Cumin
  7. Pomegranate juice
  8. Blueberries
  9. Walnuts
  10. Pumpkin

What is the best fruit for breast cancer?

There are several ‘best’ fruits that help fight breast cancer. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Citrus fruits 
  2. Apples
  3. Pears
  4. Peaches
  5. Grapefruit
  6. Pumpkin.

What is the list of best drinks for cancer patients?

A list of the best cancer-fighting drink includes

  1. Green tea
  2. Apple juice
  3. Pomegranate juice
  4. Lemonade
  5. Orange juice
  6. Cruciferous vegetable juice

These drinks help to fight and reduce the risk of cancer.

What food kills cancer cells in the body?

These are the foods that kill cancer cells:

  1. Flaxseed
  2. Kefir
  3. Ginger
  4. Curcumin
  5. Citrus fruits
  6. Salmon
  7. Apples

Is oatmeal anti-cancer?

Oatmeal, being a whole grain, is an anti-cancer food. Further, it boasts several nutrients that help the body during chemotherapy. So yes, oatmeal is anti-cancer. 

What is the best breakfast for cancer patients?

A breakfast containing whole grains, apples, vegetables, citrus fruits, and fermented products like milk and yoghurt is the best for cancer patients.

What fruits should cancer patients avoid?

Fruits that cause difficulty swallowing and hit ulcers in the mouth are prohibited by your doctor. Any fruit that might cause any sort of discomfort should be avoided. For instance, the juice of citrus fruits might hit the ulcers and cause pain.

What food is not allowed for cancer patients?

Foods for cancer patients to avoid and are not allowed:

  1. Junk foods
  2. Raw/slightly cooked fish
  3. Sugar 
  4. Unwashed fruits and veggies
  5. Unpasteurized fermented products
  6. Red and processed meats

Is pineapple good for breast cancer?

Pineapple consists of an enzyme called Bromelain, which possesses anti-breast cancer properties. Thus, pineapple can be considered good for breast cancer.

Is yoghurt good for breast cancer?

Yoghurt is one of the fermented products that contain probiotics that function against breast cancer.  You should consume yoghurt daily to stay safe from breast cancer

How can you prevent breast cancer naturally?

Take these crucial measures into action to prevent breast cancer naturally:

  1. Avoid alcohol
  2. Exercise daily
  3. Avoid being overweight
  4. Add cruciferous and allium veggies to your meal
  5. Increase intake of citrus fruits
  6. Eat turmeric, flaxseed, and cumin daily
  7. Put a limit to post-menopausal hormone therapy 
  8. Breastfeed the baby

What juice is good for breast cancer?

Pomegranate juice is one of the best juices that prevent breast cancer. It contains anthocyanin, ursolic acid, ellagic acid, and omega-5 fatty acids. They kill the tumour cells. Other juices for breast cancer include vegetable juice, apple juice, and broccoli juice, among others.

How do you dissolve breast lumps naturally?

To dissolve breast lumps naturally,

  1. use iodine in your diet
  2. use simple heat
  3. apply an ice pack
  4. put a warm compress on the area
  5. last but not least, avoid caffeine

How do you beat breast cancer?

You can beat breast cancer through

  1. Mastectomy (a surgery): removes all the breast tissue
  2. Hormonal therapy: prohibits cancer cells from using the necessary hormones for their growth
  3. Chemotherapy: using medicines to kill tumour cells
  4. Radiation therapy: rays similar to x-rays to destroy cancer cells are used
  5. Biological therapy: helps the immune system to get rid of cancer cells

Updated on : 2 December 2022


Dr. Priyanka Sharma

Dr. Priyanka Sharma

MBBS, DNB Plastic Surgery

14 Years Experience

Dr Priyanka Sharma is a well-known Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon associated with HealthPort Clinic in Delhi. She has 14 years of experience in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgery and worked as an expert Plastic,...View More


Dr Sania Datta

Dr Sania Datta

BDS (Panjab University) I MBA Hospital & Health Management (IIHMR Jaipur)

8 Years Experience

She is a high-impact healthcare management and medical content professional with enriching work experience in Parexel, HexaHealth Technologies, Apollo Munich, Credihealth and Fortis Hospital. Armed with deep and c...View More

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