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Dietary Recommendations

Breast Cancer Dietary Recommendations

  • Weight - make sure your weight is normal. Take immediate action if you have lost weight or lose weight if you need to
  • Maintain a healthy gut - small, frequent meals, consider a probiotic (Bifidobacteria and Lactobaccilus Acidophilus) or take yogurt with live, active cultures Increased exercise cuts overall risk in half
  • Alcohol greatly increases the chance of throat, liver, colon, or breast cancer. The risk increases if your consumption is greater than (1-2 glasses of wine, 1 beer, 1 oz alcohol daily).

Eat a rainbow assortment of fruits and vegetables ( 5-9 servings a day). These foods will contain a variety of phytochemicals (these are elements in foods that are protective, promote health and act as anticancer agents). Some of the important groups are the following:

  • Should you eat phytochemical-rich foods raw or cooked?

Eat at least two fruits or vegetables raw a day. Not more than 4 servings per week of raw cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale (this can affect your thyroid function). Some carotene are better absorbed from cooked foods like carrots, and tomatoes.


  • Important antioxidant found in all tissues in the body
    • Helps detoxify and eliminate toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents. (It is found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts).
    • You can increase the body's production by eating foods with limonene (citrus, dill weed, and caraway seeds)
    • Whey protein can be used to increase glutathione (studies indicate that whey protein selectively depletes cancer cells of their glutathione, thus making them more susceptible to cancer treatment, and inhibits cancer cell growth, thus reducing the tumor burden).
    • Whey protein can also be used to provide glutamine (enhances energy levels, boosts immune functions and fights infections). Take 20-30 g of whey protein/day.
  • Decrease intake of meat to 3 oz day - eat mostly a vegetarian diet
    • Eliminate cured meats (nitrate and nitrite foods)
    • Avoid consuming well-done , charbroiled and fat-laden meats
  • Cut the fat (limit to 20% of your total calories)
    • Increase Omega -3 fatty acids, from fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, and halibut - 2 servings/wk), canola oil, and walnuts. Can use some flax seed (1 tbsp). Fish most likely to have the lowest levels of methyl mercury are salmon, cod, mackerel, cold-water tuna, farm-raised catfish, and herring. Worst are swordfish, shark, and other large predatory fish.
    • Fish oil supplements - 120-360 mg of EPA and 80-240 mg of DHA daily (if you are not eating any other omega-3 fat sources).
    • Reduce Omega-6 fatty acids from (meats, other vegetable oils)
    • Eliminate trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats)
  • Avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient foods such as candy and soft drinks (limit white sugar and white flour to 10% of total calories)
  • Decrease salt intake (2000 - 2400 mg)
  • Choose foods that help your body detoxify and eliminate waste
    • Vitamin A
    • Selenium
    • Peppermint
    • Fiber (25 - 35 g)
    • Fluids (water 48 - 64 oz)
    • Frequently eat turmeric, red pepper (cayenne or chili pepper), black pepper, dill, caraway, garlic, onion, basil and oregano. Can also use mustard containing turmeric.
  • Eat a healthy diet, of fish, whole grains, soy (should not be eaten if on tamoxifen) and other legumes, cabbage, vegetables, nuts, and fruits, plus take a multiple vitamin/mineral
  • Drink purified water
    • Herbal teas
    • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
    • Eat more watery foods (soups, stews)
    • Freeze ice pops
    • Drink fluids between meals to leave more room for food
    • Avoid drinking large amounts of fluids all at once, since it can cause nausea. Eat juicy fruits.
  • Consider using a juicer
  • Ginger for loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting

Disclaimer - This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services to any party. The information provided through this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should contact your health care provider immediately.

NMCP Information


24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Emergency Room
(757) 953-5000
Customer Service 
(757) 953-2600
Officer of the Day
(757) 953-5008
Patient Information
(757) 953-5002


Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
620 John Paul Jones Circle
Portsmouth, VA 23708-2197

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