Although this blog and our nonprofit, Pawsitively 4 Pink, are not a source for medical advice, it is widely accepted that maintaining a healthy diet to avoid breast cancer works. A healthy diet that helps us avoid and fight breast cancer is full of antioxidants, fresh fruit and vegetables, and organic products that boost your immune system and help your body stay strong.

Of course, a healthy and well-balanced diet is crucial for overall well-being and becomes even more important when it comes to fighting breast cancer. A nutrient-rich diet boosts the immune system, promotes healing, and potentially helps our body’s natural defenses for fending off breast cancer. To guide you on your breast cancer journey, we’re listing the best foods to include in your diet, those that can strengthen the immune system, and ones to avoid during breast cancer treatment and recovery.

Breast Cancer Diet: Foods to Boost the Immune System

Our immune system is what fights for us when we get sick – from the common cold, the flu, to cancer, our body’s immune response is our natural defense system. Keeping it strong is one great way to support our bodies in the fight against breast cancer.

A couple cook a meal to help boost their immune system with foods that fight the risk of breast cancer.Fresh, Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, fruits and vegetables are essential for supporting the immune system. Read more about what sorts of food to bolster your diet with antioxidants here

Organic berries, ripe citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are particularly beneficial. Read more about what a cruciferous vegetable is and what makes them so good for us here.

Whole Grains

Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and oats to provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential nutrients that contribute to overall health. 

When grains become over-processed, they break down into simple sugars that cause more harm than good to our bodies. Read more about the benefits of eating whole grains and where to find them here.

Lean Proteins

Build lean protein into your diet with sources like chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, seitan, and legumes. Protein is vital for repairing and building tissues, crucial during cancer treatment. This is especially true for any patients undergoing invasive surgeries, as the body needs as much help as it can get rebuilding.

Healthy Fats

This is a great opportunity for helpful and healthy snacking – healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil round out a cancer patient’s diet by providing energy and supporting nutrient absorption. All those antioxidants and nutrients are useless unless they’re properly absorbed by the body.

Read more about how eating healthy fats actually increases vitamin absorption.

Foods that Fight Breast Cancer

In addition to the foods listed above, the following foods are important for breast cancer survivors. Including them in your daily diet decreases the likelihood of cancer recurrence, or can help fight against cancer developing in the first place.

A handful of berries, like blackberries and raspberries, held in the palms of a woman eating them to benefit from their antioxidants and help reduce risk of developing breast cancer.Cruciferous Vegetables

As we mentioned above, foods like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale provide nutrients like sulforaphane, formed from glucosinolates, that may have protective effects against different cancers. Read more about how cruciferous vegetables can help the body in the battle against cancer.

Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, and sardines have anti-inflammatory properties that may contribute to breast cancer prevention. Omega-3s are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making them a staple in any health, cancer-fighting diet. 


Yes, organic berries are worth the price. The antioxidants in berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, have been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer as they protect against cellular damage and the development of cancerous cells.


We’re getting a little specific here, but according to multiple studies, individuals who consumed high amounts of nuts, including walnuts, peanuts, and almonds weekly were 2-3 times less likely to develop breast cancer.

Read about a few more foods that help our bodies in the fight against breast cancer.

What Foods to Avoid with Cancer

You’ll find these foods practically everywhere – in the grocery store, restaurants, and gas stations. That’s why it’s so important to understand the risks when choosing to consume these widely available yet potentially harmful foods. These are foods not to eat with breast cancer.

An image of a cheeseburger, onion fries, and sauce, depicting highly processed foods that breast cancer patients should definitely avoid.

Processed Foods

Processed foods include everything from marshmallows to organic oat crackers. 

A “processed food”, as defined by the US Department of Agriculture, is a food “that has undergone any changes to its natural state—that is, any raw agricultural commodity subjected to washing, cleaning, milling, cutting, chopping, heating, pasteurizing, blanching, cooking, canning, freezing, drying, dehydrating, mixing, packaging, or other procedures that alter the food from its natural state.” 

Processed foods are dangerous because they’re high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives, which heavily contribute to inflammation and actively hinder the body’s healing process.

It’s crucial for cancer patients or those working to avoid cancer to eat and cook with whole foods. When possible, we recommend even exploring how to make staples like pasta, marinara sauce, bread crumbs, et cetera at home from scratch with whole ingredients. That way, you can avoid additives companies add to processed foods. 

It’s easier than you think. Check out this simple at-home pasta recipe. All you need is flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt!

Excessive Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Limiting or avoiding alcohol for those at a high risk of developing breast cancer and during breast cancer treatments is advisable.

But the party doesn’t have to stop – non-alcoholic beverages, or “mocktails”, are becoming popular all across the country. Take a look at some delicious simple mocktail recipes to try during breast cancer treatment.

Our Favorite Recipes to Fight Breast Cancer

Below you’ll find two of our favorite recipes to fight breast cancer. We whip up these recipes often for ourselves or friends fighting breast cancer; they’re simple, nutrient-packed, and antioxidant-rich. 

A healthy green smoothie perfect for breast cancer patients to increase their intake of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and vegetables.

Our Recipe for a Superfood Smoothie:

This delicious smoothie is one of our best recipes for patients with cancer.


  • 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Ice cubes (optional)


  • Use a blender to blend all ingredients until smooth. 
  • Optionally, serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a few drops of agave syrup to brighten and sweeten the flavor.

*Pro tip: It’s crucial to use whole fruits and vegetables for this recipe. Juices don’t carry the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and fibers. 

Our Recipe for Baked Salmon with Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables:

This baked salmon recipe is a wonderful lunch or dinner option and is definitely on our list of best recipes for cancer patients.

A great recipe for breast cancer patients, this is an image including fresh vegetables and cooked quinoa.Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • Assorted vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon, herbs, and spices for seasoning


If it’s your first time cooking quinoa, don’t worry, it’s simple. Follow along on how to cook quinoa perfectly here.

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • 2. Slice vegetables into bite-sized pieces. 
  • 3. Season salmon with herbs, spices, and a squeeze of lemon. Place salmon and vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve atop cooked quinoa for a balanced and delicious meal.

While a healthy diet cannot replace medical treatment for breast cancer, it undoubtedly plays a supportive role in breast cancer recovery. Always consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a personalized diet plan tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Looking for more breast cancer recipes and diet tips? Check out our blog about 8 more healthy recipes for breast cancer patients.

Curious about the work we do to financially support women battling breast cancer? Find out more about our Pawsitively fabulous nonprofit and the impact we make.