Eat to Beat the Odds of Breast Cancer

By Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D., September/October 2007

Health update: can diet make a difference?

"Great article! There are a number of foods with phytochemicals that have been proven to prevent or fight cancer: Berries, cruciferous vegetables and tomatoes are 3 of them. There are some lists of foods that prevent cancer at http://www....

5. Boost vegetables and fruits?

Research to assess whether fruits and vegetables can fight breast cancer has been disappointing, but “a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables tends to be lower in calories,” says Kolonel, “and that can help you maintain a [cancer-fighting] healthy weight.” Cheryl Rock, Ph.D., R.D., who coordinates the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study (WHEL) at the University of California, San Diego, found that women who ate at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day (along with taking a brisk 30-minute daily walk) cut their risk of dying from breast cancer by half. “A healthy weight is what matters most,” she says, “but if women aren’t able to lose weight but eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise, they can still lower their risk of cancer recurrence.” Eating more fruits and vegetables certainly couldn’t hurt and may help.

These simple strategies could lower your cancer risk—and give you a healthier heart too. But I think the best benefit is knowing you’re doing everything in your power to stay healthy.

Rachel Johnson, EatingWell’s senior nutrition advisor, is dean of the University of Vermont College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

5 More Foods for Breast Cancer Prevention

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