No food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer or keep it from returning (recurrence). But some foods can help keep your body healthy as it can be and may also reduce your risk for breast cancer. A healthy diet can also improve outcomes for breast cancer survivors.

Eating more vegetables, fruits and other plant-based foods can improve your overall health and may also reduce your risk of breast cancer or recurrence. Plant-based foods contain compounds called phytochemicals. Some phytochemicals are believed to protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer. Phytochemicals thought to have the most benefit include:

  • beta carotene and other carotenoids found in many fruits and vegetables
  • isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale and cabbage
  • flavonoids in soybeans and flaxseed
  • polyphenols in tea
  • resveratol in red wine

Studies are not clear whether a low-fat diet can lower the risk of breast cancer, but calories do count. Fat is a major source of calories and being overweight or obese is a breast cancer risk factor in postmenopausal women.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone, but it is especially important for breast cancer survivors because it may reduce the risk of recurrence and improve survival.

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