Yesterday, I attended the “Kick Up Your Heels for the Cure” event organized by Komen, and I have to say it was the best charity event I’ve ever attended!

An inspiring young woman talked about her battle with breast cancer after she had just found out she was pregnant. Komen was able to provide her with the help she needed and they donated money to cover all of her cancer treatments! She now leads a strong, healthy life with her child.

They had a silent auction and I was able to give away a month of free personal chef services to benefit the cause. I was so happy to be a part of this spectacular event and help people as much as I can through preventive measures (a.k.a. healthy eating)

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and after being inspired by this event, I wanted to compile a list for you with the best food groups/nutrients that help prevent breast cancer.

Before I do that, I wanted to share with you a couple facts about breast cancer. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the most common cancer worldwide. In the United States, 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer. Pretty scary right?

What you can do today, is start with prevention. Your diet plays a large role in preventing breast cancer, and studies suggest perhaps even more than exercise! Research has shown that a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in starchy carbohydrates may help prevent breast cancer and the recurrence of breast cancer. And studies show that diets high in dietary fats such as oils, cakes, baked goods ,etc. that have these hidden fats in them indicate higher risk of breast cancer.

Research suggests that we can prevent 9 out of 100 cases of breast cancer simply by changing our diets. I’d say that’s a good enough reason to eat healthier!

So here are 12 foods you need in your diet to help protect the girls:

1) Broccoli

broccoli breast cancer prevention

Broccoli seems to be the face of cancer preventive foods! It has been known to block tumor growth. Other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts also have anti-cancer benefits.

2) Garlic

garlic breast cancer prevention

You might get stinky breath, but at least you’ll have peace of mind! Garlic contains allyl sulfide which is known for regulating the cycle of cells, thus having a large impact on whether a healthy cell becomes cancerous or not.

3) Walnuts

walnuts breast cancer prevention

Time to get crackin’! Walnuts have shown that they can possibly slow breast cancer growth, so that means it can play a role after diagnosis.

4) Orange fruits and vegetables

orange fruits and veggies breast cancer prevention

Orange fruits and vegetables are full of carotenoids that are cancer-preventing phytochemicals. Studies show that women who had the highest blood levels of carotenoids were linked to almost a 20% lower risk of getting breast cancer.

5) Berries

berries breast cancer prevention

Berries are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that aid in breast cancer prevention. Blueberries in particular have shown to enhance a drug tamoxifen that helps fight breast cancer growth.

6) Flaxseed

flaxseed breast cancer prevention

You can include flaxseed in your diet in multiple ways, including flaxseed oil, flaxseed flour and the actual flaxseed itself. Milled flaxseed has a component called “lignans” that is believed to decrease cancer growth.

7) Fish

salmon breast cancer prevetion

As mentioned above, women whose diets were high in unhealthy fats, had higher risk of breast cancer. Replace unhealthy fats in your diet with good ones, like Omega 3 fatty acid which is commonly found in fish, including salmon.

8) Pomegranates

pomegranate breast cancer prevetion

There is still research being done surrounding the role pomegranates might play in breast cancer prevention, but research so far has indicated that pomegranates help reduce cancer growth, especially estrogen-dependent cancers.

9) Apples

apples breast cancer prevention

The antioxidants and high fiber found in apples are great cancer prevention. The key here is to not peel the skin off the apple, as that is a rich source of their nutrients!

10) Parsley

parsley breast cancer prevention

We use parsley in some of our Nosh detox drinks and it just so happens that this herb can actually prevent cancer cell-growth! Looks like you know what garnish to use in your next meal (or put in your next green smoothie!)

11) Beans

lentils breast cancer prevention

Beans like lentils and other legumes have been proven to reduce your risk of breast cancer thanks to their fiber. Studies show that women who ate 10 grams of fiber each day had a 7% lower risk of developing breast cancer. That means only eating about 1/2 a cup of beans, ladies!

12) Olive Oil

olive oil breast cancer prevention

Again, healthy fats are the key to lowering your risk. Did you know that olive oil contains antioxidants too? This along with their oleic acid (monounsaturated fat) helps slow the growth of malignant cells.