25 Best foods to fight breast cancer

Every day, it seems that science is discovering foods that may fight breast cancer. Why not add some to your diet today — and start stacking the odds in your favor?

One 8-ounce glass of Odwalla Carrot Juice* — pressed carrot juice and nothing else — has 700% of the daily recommendation for beta-carotene (and only 70 calories). Bonus: You won’t believe how good it is! Eating foods high in beta-carotene has been linked in many studies to lower rates of breast cancer.

*May be found in health food stores, the natural food section of your supermarket, delis, or gourmet shops.

Snack on the spicy daikon radish, a broccoli cousin. It looks like a huge white carrot, which you peel and cut into sticks. A perfect accompaniment to our spinach dip (see #21). Like all the broccoli clan, daikon contains indole-3-carbinol, which lowers women’s levels of a type of estrogen that may promote breast cancer.

Warm a mug of 1% milk, add ¼ teaspoon almond extract, and enjoy it at bedtime. Why not fat-free milk? Because there’s an intriguing compound in milk fat — conjugated linoleic acid — that fights breast cancer cells in test tubes and animals.

Spicy Hot V8 is a zesty way to fill up on a compound called lycopene. Diets high in lycopene are linked to lower rates of breast cancer.

Spread 1 tablespoon fat-free cream cheese inside half of a 6-inch, whole wheat pita. Add 1 chopped tomato, ½ cup BroccoSprouts, and 1 tablespoon low-fat feta cheese. Yum! BroccoSprouts are a brand of broccoli sprouts with megalevels of SGS, a compound that fights mammary tumors in mice. Per ½ pita: 180 cal, 3 g fat, 5 g fiber.

Sip this fabulously healthy spritzer instead of an alcoholic drink — more than one alcoholic beverage a day increases your risk of breast cancer. Mix 2/3 cup Concord grape juice, 1/3 cup club soda, ice, and a dash of lime. Bonus: Concord grape juice has the most cancer-fighting antioxidant power of any juice. Per serving: 103 cal, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber.

Order salmon whenever you find it on a restaurant menu. Salmon is ultra-rich in omega-3 fats, and research suggests that women with higher tissue levels of omega-3s have lower rates of breast cancer.

Women whose diets are higher in vitamin D have less breast cancer. To ensure that you get the recommended level, add a daily multivitamin to a healthy diet, advise many experts.

Put one 4-ounce jar of chilled baby-food carrots and one 6-ounce can of chilled pineapple juice in a covered jar and shake well for 10 seconds. Makes about 1 cup, with 129 total calories. Why baby-food carrots? The beta-carotene in them is superabsorbable.

Try delicious Just Cherries!* — sour cherries that are freeze-dried. Tangy, sweet, and crunchy, a 1-ounce pack of Just Cherries! (¾ cup) has 100 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. Cherries are a top source of perillyl alcohol, a compound that may inhibit mammary cancer in rats.
*May be found in health food stores, the natural food section of your supermarket, delis, or gourmet shops.

Compounds called limonoids, found in the peel and white membrane of oranges, inhibit breast cancer in test tubes. These compounds wind up in commercial juice because of vigorous squeezing when it’s made.

Instead of crackers made with refined wheat flour, try hearty rye crispbread; many varieties use 100% whole rye flour (check the ingredients list to be sure). Tastes great with our spinach dip! (See #21). Women who ate the most refined grains had more breast cancer, one study showed.

If you’re not ready for plain wheat bran cereal, mix your favorite cereal half and half with one of the two highest wheat bran varieties: All Bran Extra Fiber or Fiber One. Women who ate one serving a day of a cereal high in wheat bran lowered their level of breast cancer-promoting estrogen.

14Make tuna salad from water-packed, canned white tuna — not light tuna — to get the most omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are currently part of an experimental diet to prevent breast cancer in a study at UCLA.

15At last, a truly great frozen french fry with no trans fats — and no fat, period. It’s 8th Wonder Fat Free Fries, made with Yukon Gold potatoes for buttery flavor and color. A 3-ounce serving (16 fries) has 70 calories. One study suggests that a diet higher in trans fats may increase the risk of breast cancer. Most french fries, both frozen and fast-food, are a top trans fat source.

A green tea find: a bottled green tea without either tons of sugar or artificial sweetener. It’s Honest Tea Moroccan Mint Green Tea with Peppermint.* A touch of white clover honey mellows the flavor, but adds only 34 calories per 16-ounce bottle.
*May be found in health food stores, the natural food section of your supermarket, delis, or gourmet shops.

17Green tea is rich in EGCG, a compound that inhibits breast cancer cells in mice. Try a flavored green tea, such as Celestial Seasonings Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea, to introduce yourself to this brew.

Instead of commercial “olive oil” dressings — usually made with a mixture of oils — make your own easy dressing with half olive oil, half balsamic vinegar. Mediterranean women who eat lots of olive oil have low rates of breast cancer, studies show.

19Garlic kills breast cancer cells in the test tube — and maybe in you. But if you’re going to cook garlic, always peel and chop, then let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before you heat. Heating right away doesn’t allow time for the cancer-fighting compounds to develop.

Another find! Get the benefit of whole grain wheat without any trans fats in Old Stone Mill Whole Wheat Wafers,* the “woven” type of wheat cracker. In eight crackers, you get 3 g of fiber from wheat bran (a probable breast cancer fighter), 120 calories, and only ½ g of fat.
*May be found in health food stores, the natural food section of your supermarket, delis, or gourmet shops.

Women in one study who ate a serving of spinach at least twice a week had half the rate of breast cancer of women who avoided it. Combine a 10-ounce package of thawed and drained frozen spinach with ¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise, ¾ cup fat-free sour cream, and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Add several tablespoons 1% milk as needed to make a thick dipping consistency. Chill for at least 1 hour. Per ¼ cup serving: 70 cal, 2 g fat, 1 g fiber.

22Flavorful veggie burgers and sausage won’t form the same compounds that meat does when it’s being cooked — and those compounds may explain why women who eat lots of red meat and lots of very well done meat seem to get more breast cancer.

Order pizza with anchovies, or add them at home.
Anchovies are rich in omega-3 fats.

24Make it a point to choose a trans-free margarine as your regular spread, since trans fats may increase your risk of breast cancer. Smart Balance, Smart Beat, and the Promise lines of margarines are among the trans-free brands.

25 Why flaxseed? Because it has 75 times more lignan precursors, compounds that inhibit mammary tumors in animals, than any other food. Directions: Simmer ½ cup frozen cherry-juice concentrate and 2 cups dried cranberries in a covered pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Blend softened cranberries and 1¾ cups preground flaxseed* in a food processor until the mixture forms a ball. Press the dough into a 9 x 9-inch nonstick pan, cut into eight bars, and refrigerate. Per bar: 185 cal, 9 g fat, 9 g fiber.
*May be found in health food stores, the natural food section of your supermarket, delis, or gourmet shops.

What you have in your mind?