Cancer Survivor Diet: Foods to Help You Heal
What if I told you that the foods you put into your body can heal you – even from something as grave as breast cancer? Would you eat healthier? Research suggests that a meal plan high in fruits and veggies, and low in starchy carbs, can help prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. Read on to see an anti-cancer nutrition plan that works to boost your immune system, and in doing so, promotes breast health.
Antioxidants protect our cells and lower our risk of getting cancer. While they are found in most foods, it is important to note which foods contain the highest levels.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is an excellent breast cancer prevention food. High in antioxidants, it is said to block the growth of tumors.
- Apples – What’s that saying, again? Oh, right. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apple peels are rich sources of antioxidants and fiber that can help fight the spread of cancer cells.
- Garlic – With strong anti-inflammatory properties, garlic is said to increase antioxidant levels in the body and both prevent and treat cancer. It does so by inhibiting cell proliferation.
- Chia seeds – Having one of the highest antioxidant counts of any whole food, chia seeds are perfect to sprinkle on top of morning oats or yogurt.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids help our bodies fight inflammation.
- Walnuts – Good news: high in omega 3s, research has also shown that walnuts may slow the rate of growth for breast cancer tumors, meaning they can help manage breast cancer even after diagnosis.
- Fish & fish oil – Adding fish to your cancer-prevention diet is a great way to get some lean protein into your body, as you should limit red meat altogether.
- Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds help fight breast cancer by naturally balancing our hormones. Ground flaxseeds (which have the consistency of flour), contain a component called lignans that decrease cancer growth. Sprinkle some on top of your salads or add them to your smoothies to reap all their benefits!
Vitamin A carotenoids, or the pigments that give certain fruits and vegetables their color, act as strong antioxidants that have cancer-fighting properties.
- Carrots/ Cantaloupe/ Sweet Potatoes – These foods are rich in carotenoids. It is proven that women with higher levels of carotenoids in their blood are at a lower risk for breast cancer.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin is a super food for cancer prevention. Just half a cup of pumpkin contains 5x your daily serving of vitamin A.
Vitamin C is responsible for encouraging the production of antibodies and white blood cells. While antibodies counteract foreign objects such as cancer cells, white blood cells fight infection by defending our bodies against bad bacteria.
- Kale – Kale is a perfect cancer-fighting food. This dark leafy green can boost DNA repair in cells and has been proven to block the growth of cancer cells due to its high levels of indole-3-carbinol.
- Berries – While blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with vitamins such as vitamin C, blueberries in particular are some of the most powerful sources of antioxidants to combat cancer.
- Grapefruit – Eating this fruit can prevent the growth of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds. People with diets high in vitamin C have reduced risk for cancers of the stomach, breast, colon, esophagus, bladder, and cervix.