Home Women's Wellness 4 Healthy Foods to Eat (and 3 to Avoid) When You Have Breast Cancer

4 Healthy Foods to Eat (and 3 to Avoid) When You Have Breast Cancer

by Gauri Kolhe

Diagnosed with life threatening illness is a big shock especially in case of cancer. So this is very important to know the routine and how to give nutrition to yourself after you have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle is necessary in diseased condition as well as for healthy person. Diet is the most important factor when it comes to consider a healthy lifestyle along with some others factors like stress management, adequate sleep and physical activity.

 During the tenure of your treatment you need extra energy to handle the treatment side effects so in order to meet your nutritional requirement you have to plan to have a healthy diet.

This also helps you to boost your energy level and lowering the risk of infection (according to American Cancer Society (ACS))  

Although advance research has been conducted that can lower the risk of reoccurrence after treatment of breast cancer.

Eating healthy diet helps to maintain weight especially for cancer survivors so that they do not develop risk of reoccurrence the breast cancer. According to National comprehensive cancer network (NCCN), being overweight or obese increase the risk of reoccurrence.

Hence eating healthy food after treatment helps you to meet the nutritional requirements as well as boosting the strength (according to ACS).

Here is some option of foods to eat in breast cancer you should incorporate in your diet:
this is very challenging to decide what foods to eat in breast cancer to regain strength and fight against the disease along with enhanced immune system.

Fruits and Vegetables

When it comes to choosing healthy food fruits colorful fruits and vegetables are the most recommended primary choice. Christy Alexon, an associate professor at Arizona state university says that these are enriched with various phytochemicals that are beneficial to health in many ways.

As per National cancer institute (NCI) phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemical entities in fruits, vegetables and grains.

So Alexon recommends eating a bunch of colorful fruits and vegetables atleast five servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. Make sure to give priority green cruciferous vegetables which especially enriched in phytochemicals such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels and lettuce and fruits such as blueberries, cranberries.

Whole Grains

Another category of the foods to eat in breast cancer is whole grains. Whole grains are the house of the complex carbohydrates, fiber and phytochemicals.

According to analysis done in 2020 it has been seen that eating fiber rich foods lower the risk of developing the breast cancer. According to Another 2016 analysis in current breast cancer reports it has been reported that enhance fiver intake may reduce the circulation of estrogen in breast cancer patients which may prove helpful in preventing the reoccurrence of breast cancer.

According to john Hopkins medicine a person should try to consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day so increase your fiber intake in couple of weeks if you are eating less fiber than required amount.

Increased fiber intake helps you to prevent gas and bloating and also help you to feel full for a long a time.

Some whole grains recommended by the experts includes: Barley, Amaranth, Quinoa, Whole wheat, Brown rice, Oats, Popcorn.

Lean and Plant-Based Proteins

Foods to eat in breast cancer also include lean and plant based protein. As per the statement of Alexon lean protein and protein belongs to fish are naturally contains a huge amount of omega-3 fatty acids and helpful in gaining muscle mass, helps in managing inflammation and provide support to tissue healing.

Some best sources of lean proteins are salmon, poultry, Greek yogurt, beans, lentins, low fat cheese, lean beef etc.

According to 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans make sure to set a aim to have 46 grams of protein in a day.

American institute for cancer Research (AICR) says that there is no risk for cancer survivors on eating soy products like edamame, soy sauce and tofu so do not hang back to have soybean.

According to Nicole Giller, a registered dietitian specializing in oncology “Contrary to popular belief, soy is safe to eat and many studies show an intake of soy may reduce cancer risk and reoccurrence”.

In breast cancer as well as other diseased conditions nutritional requirement of protein and other nutrients likely to change so make sure to consult your doctor or dietician before choosing the food.   

Fats good for health

Most of us always listen to avoid the fats to live a healthy life but this is really surprising that we don’t have to avoid all fats and some of the good fats are essential to our body like omega-3 fatty acids.

Well you just need to avoid saturated fats and add more monounsaturated nd polyunsaturated fats to your diet as per the recommendation of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Most of the polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are found in seafood and plants. Especially you need to add fatty fishes having omega-3 fatty acids like sardines or salmon to your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acid may inhibit the growth of tumors in breast cancer and it is also help you to manage your brain health, cardiac health and eye health as well.

According to NCCN a person should eat fish twice a week o make sure to eat two portions to eat in a week.

Some of the Recommended Fat Sources

  • Flaxseed
  • Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
  • Fish and other seafood, particularly salmon, sardines and anchovies
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado       

3 Foods to avoid in breast cancer

If experts recommend foods to eat in breast cancer than it is too obvious that they also recommend you some food to avoid so here are some recommendation to avoid the food in breast cancer.

Processed Foods

Almost all of us love to eat processed food as they are ready to eat and tasty as well they don’t contain nutrition. Usually processed food contains higher amount of sodium, saturated fats, Trans fat, added sugar and refined grains. Processed foods do not give any contribution as they are not in the race of containing any antioxidants, phytochemicals or any other compounds.

 So you have to cut down the processed food from your eating habbits and add more fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains to make your diet healthy in breast cancer.

 Saturated Fats

There are many scientific evidences are available that avoiding saturated fats makes you condition good. In a research

According to a journal, journal of clinical oncology in September 2017 it has been reported that eating low fat diet in breast cancer may be helpful for the survival of the patients.

So experts recommend cutting down the consumption of saturated fats as long as you want to recover fast.  You should limit these saturated fats:  red meat, coconut milk, coconut oil, full fat dairy milk and other dairy products.


Alcohol usually tends to increase the level of estrogen and other hormone associated with hormone receptor breast cancer. Women who drink 3 alcohol drink per week are most likely to prone breast cancer in comparison to those who don’t even drink a single shot of alcohol.

So 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans suggest limiting the alcohol consumption to a single glass of alcohol in a week.

Although the relation of alcohol and breast cancer is not clear experts suggests avoiding alcohol in breast cancer and in other diseases as well.

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