Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
Getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, doing some type of regular exercise, limiting alcohol, managing stress, eating a plant-based diet, and avoiding toxins in food and skincare products all help to prevent breast cancer. But recent research offers some additional advice.
Maintain Healthy Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D isn’t a treatment for breast cancer, but optimum blood levels of the vitamin correlate with lower risk for the disease—and better survival if it does develop. On the flipside, low levels of the vitamin (below 20 ng/mL) increase risk.
Experts don’t all agree on optimum levels, but these generally fall between 30 and 50 ng/mL. Most people need to take between 1,000 and 4,000 IU, or 25–100 micrograms, daily to achieve these levels, but it’s best to get a blood test to determine your individual needs.
Keep Your Gut in Good Shape
Researchers at the University of Virginia Cancer Center in Charlottesville have found that an unhealthy gut microbiome lays the groundwork for invasive breast cancer. The study, which was done in animals, found that disruption in gut bacteria led to inflammation and tissue changes that cause a common form of breast cancer to become more aggressive.
A diet that is high in fiber and includes fermented foods helps maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. In addition, prebiotic and probiotic supplements can help restore beneficial bacteria, and are often recommended after a course of antibiotics.
Top Foods, Drinks, and Supplements to Prevent Breast Cancer
- Broccoli: Detoxifies harmful estrogens.
- Walnuts: Decrease growth of cancer cells.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Lowers risk of developing breast cancer.
- Flaxseed: Contains lignans, substances that decrease tumor growth.
- Green Tea and Turmeric: Both limit growth of breast cancer cells. Drink the tea and add turmeric to food, or take them as supplements.
More Articles on Breast Cancer Prevention
- Top Supplements to Protect Against Breast Cancer
- Holistic Healing for Breast Cancer
- Preventing Breast Cancer: Simple Things You Can Do
- Beat Breast Cancer with These 7 Cancer-Fighting Foods
- Breast Health