Bad eating habits which accompany a low level of physical activity paves the way to many disorders such as diabetes and cardiac diseases, as well as certain types of cancer. Breast cancer, which is one of the most frequently encountered types of cancer in women, is also associated with bad eating habits and, as a consequence of these, increase of fat accumulation in the body. In order to be protected from breast cancer, women need to increase the level of their physical activity, decrease the ratio of fat in their bodies and adopt healthy eating habits. Another point which should be taken into consideration is to make sure that your diet includes the foods that have particular importance in the struggle against breast cancer. Nutrition and Diet Specialist Melike Şeyma Deniz of Acıbadem Fulya Hospital explained the foods that should be consumed regularly due to their protective effects against breast cancer.

1- Always include sulfur-rich vegetables in your diet

All vegetables have protective qualities against cancer due to their antioxidant content. Particularly, sulfur-rich vegetables which are known for their sharp smell and taste, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, are very prominent in regard to their anti-cancer properties. Studies show that the compound referred to as “glucosinolate”, which is present in the said vegetables, has a cancer-stopping effect in various organs. Therefore, women should make sure to include these vegetables in their diet, especially when theyare in season.

2- One dessert spoon of turmeric everyday

Turmeric can be used against many different types of disorders such as arthritis and cardiac diseases by means of the curcumin it contains, which also gives turmeric its yellow-orange color. You can have one dessert spoon of turmeric, which is believed to prevent growth and spreading of cancer cells, every day in order to provide protection for yourself. You can also add turmeric to salads, yogurt and soups or use it in other dishes by frying it in the oil you use for these dishes.

3- Have a diet rich in vitamin C

It is believed that insufficient intake of vitamin C, which is among antioxidant vitamins, can be related to development of cancer. Nutrition and Diet Specialist MelikeŞeymaDeniznotes that at least one of the citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits or vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers should definitely be included in the diet.

4- Eat fish the correct way

Fish, which we know to have many positive effects on general wellbeing, is one of the must-have foods in protection against breast cancer. However, in order to benefit from fish at maximum level, you should eat fish at least twice a week, cook it with correct methods such as grilling or steaming and avoid processed fish such as smoked fish.

5- Have olive oil

Thanks to the vitamin E in its content, olive oil both prevents development of cancer and strengthens the immune system. When you need to use oil, you can choose olive oil and benefit from these positive effects. However, do not forget that portion control is important no matter how healthy a food is, and monitor your intake of olive oil.

6- Do not forget legumes

Having normal weight is also important for protection against breast cancer.Nutrition and Diet Specialist MelikeŞeymaDeniz says, “Legumes such as dried beans, chickpeas and lentils help stabilize blood sugar by means of the fiber in their content and extend the duration of fullness” and adds, “It is very beneficial to eat legumes, which are also a source of vegetable protein, as hot dishes or in boiled form in salads, two or three times a week”.

7- Eat garlic raw

Scientific studies show that garlic provides protection against cardiovascular diseases, strengthens the immune system and has anti-cancer properties. All these positive effects are available thanks to a component referred to as “allicin”. In order for allicin to be effective, garlic needs to be crushed and eaten raw. You can try adding raw garlic to food after it is cooked instead of cooking it together with the dish.


Avoid sources of empty calories.

All foods which contain high amounts of sugar and/or fat, such as processed cakes, cookies, desserts, ice-cream, etc. are referred to as sources of empty calories. Empty calorie sources indirectly and adversely affect cancer development by causing weight gain, as well as accelerating the growth of cancer cells by means of their high sugar content. Nutrition and Diet Specialist MelikeŞeymaDeniz notes that consumption of such foods should be minimized, if not eliminated completely.


Melike Şeyma Deniz