3 Top Functional Foods for Breast Cancer

Functional foods for breast cancer are foods that have been found to have specific benefits for the disease, beyond their nutritional value. The three foods listed below have been studied in breast cancer and found to help reduce cancer rates in women who eat them regularly, as well as helping to prevent recurrence:

  1. Brassica Family (Cruciferous Family) Vegetables:
    • Includes: bok choy, brussel sprouts, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale,collard and mustard greens, radish, turnip, watercress, kohlrabi, arugula, rapini, rutabaga.
    • Contains: Glucosinolates, such as Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) and Sulforaphane, which have been found to have potential breast cancer preventative effects. They have also been found to reduce harmful estrogens byproducts.
    • Recommendation: eat at least 1-2 servings from this family daily, cooked or raw.
  2. Green tea
    • Includes: all flavours and types of green tea, including decaffeinated
    • Contains: polyphenols, such as EGCG, which are potent antioxidants that have been shown to interfere with cancer cell growth and development through multiple pathways. Regularly drinking green tea may help reduce recurrence risk in those with early-stage breast cancer.
    • Recommendation: 3-5 cups per day of organic green tea
  3. Ground Flaxseed
    • Contains: α-linolenic acid (an essential omega-3 fatty acid), lignans, and soluble fiber. Flax lignans have been found to inhibit estrogen activity and reduce the production of more harmful estrogen byproducts. Eating flax regularly has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and may also inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.
    • Recommendation: 2 tablespoons daily of ground flaxseeds. These can be added to juice or smoothies, sprinkled on salads, or mixed in oatmeal. Store in the freezer to maintain freshness.