A breast cancer healing journey is not always easy. In some cases, it may be necessary to use the tools conventional medicine has to offer. When undergoing conventional breast cancer treatments, there are numerous foods you should—and should NOT—eat. Some foods may enhance the effectiveness of the treatments and even reduce the harmful side effects.
Before I begin, I want to make clear that there will never be a one-size-fits-all diet. If someone tells you there is only one way to eat to heal cancer—run the other way! LOL!
To find out exactly what your beautifully unique body needs—test, test, test! For example, my body type will not thrive on a plant-based diet. Based on my metabolic type, I am a Balanced Carnivore. This means I need to supplement with specific nutrients since, for example, my body doesn’t convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A. I also do not convert Vitamin D from sunshine. I discovered this and many other unique aspects of my genetic makeup during my second healing journey.
Stay tuned, as I will discuss some of these tests later in this blog post. This blog provides a brief overview of a few ways food makes a dramatic difference in the success of your healing. For more details and practical action plans on how to utilize the power of conventional treatments (chemo, surgery, radiation, etc.) and natural health therapies, please join the Survive & Thrive: Conquering Breast Cancer with Conventional Treatments and Natural Medicine online program.
Foods To Eat For Healing During Cancer Treatments
You are probably tired of hearing all the things you can NOT do, so let’s start with all the good news—the delicious news! To sum up this section, treat yourself to loads of fresh, local, organic, and seasonal produce. Indulge in sweet summer blueberries and crunch on raw, sprouted nuts. Starve the cancer while you feed your body. Below are a few things that should always make the top spots on your shopping list—no matter your treatment plan.
Cruciferous vegetables are your “breast friends.” They literally control breast cancer’s “on and off switches” and powerfully enhance the effectiveness of conventional treatments. These vegetable powerhouses also neutralize the effects of toxins and chemicals in your DNA and optimize phase 2 detoxification.
The most important cruciferous vegetable for destroying cancer is broccoli, especially broccoli sprouts, which are 20-50x more effective. If you can’t stomach eating 2 cups of broccoli sprouts daily, just take a few Brocco Power capsules. One Brocco Power capsule = 1 lb of broccoli! I take 2 capsules per day as part of my maintenance program. If you are on an active healing journey, 4-6 capsules per day may be helpful. For more details, studies, and recipes on cruciferous veggies, please head over to this blog post on cruciferous veggies.
There are so many types of mushrooms to enjoy. But did you know that plain button mushrooms can reduce breast cancer risk by 64%, and they act as aromatase inhibitors? Add green tea to the combination, and you have a very powerful healing combination!
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are superfoods when it comes to healing cancer, with walnuts having the most superpowers. Just 2 oz of walnuts a day for 2 weeks changes 456 genes in tumors and acts as a tumor suppressor. To learn more about the healing powers of walnuts, please review this study. Flaxseeds are a phytoestrogen that inhibits the growth of estrogen-dependent breast cancer and even strengthens the effects of tamoxifen. Learn more about flaxseeds via this blog. I also wrote this blog on exactly which nuts and seeds you should be eating and the reasons why.
Yep, nature’s candy protects from radiation’s miserable side effects, and just a half cup of blueberries a day kills breast cancer stem cells. Pterostilbene, a nutrient in blueberries, has been shown to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy agents.
Pterostilbene is an antioxidant that exhibits the hallmark characteristics of an effective anticancer agent based on its antineoplastic properties in several common malignancies. In vitro models have shown that pterostilbene inhibits cancer growth through alteration of the cell cycle, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of metastasis. In vivo, pterostilbene inhibits tumorigenesis and metastasis with negligible toxicity.
Granny Smith Apples
The peel of this classic, low-sugar fruit kills breast cancer stem cells. Traditional treatments (chemo, radiation, etc.) kill off the breast cancer cells, but they are not yet able to remove the stem cells. Therefore, taking advantage of natural ways to kick out stem cells is critical to preventing recurrence. To learn about more ways of getting rid of breast cancer stem cells, please review this on my stem cells blog and talk to your Private Coach.
Kefir, yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc., replenishes your gut with healthy bacteria and supports detoxification pathways. Making it an ideal food choice for healing during conventional treatments—detoxing your body while strengthening your gut, AKA immune system, is a great thing while you are undergoing treatments.
Red Meat and Fish
If your tests show that you need to eat red meat and fish (like mine do), then of course you should. Just make sure to eat organic, grass-fed meat and low-mercury fish. The studies that showcase toxic fish and meats being unhealthy for you are done on commercially grown animals that are pumped with synthetic hormones, antibiotics, and other toxic chemicals. However, eating quality proteins can be really good for you. Companies such as ButcherBox and SafeCatch (use code: DRV for 20% off!) provide safe and healthy options that I eat myself. If you are curious about eating animal protein, please review this blog post on plant-based diets.
And now on to foods that improve specific treatments.
For more details on why you should eat or drink each item on the list, please talk to your Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach and join the Survive & Thrive: Conquering Breast Cancer with Conventional Treatments and Natural Medicine online program.
Foods That Support And Enhance Traditional Breast Cancer Treatments
Print this off or write it down and place it in your kitchen. Below is a list of foods to eat during breast cancer treatments.
Foods to support chemotherapy:
- Bone broth
- Turmeric and curcumin
- Bee Propolis
- Aloe vera
- Teas: ginger and peppermint
- Apricot seeds
Before and after surgery:
- Bone broth
- Green tea and matcha
- Broccoli sprouts
- Medicinal mushrooms
- Turmeric and curcumin
- Teas: echinacea and golden milk
- Turmeric and curcumin
- Miso soup: I suggest this recipe.
- Medicinal mushrooms
- Omega 3s
- Teas: Hawthorne and hibiscus for heart support
- Hydrogen water
- Aloe vera: Use topically to relieve burning and orally to improve wound healing and nausea.
Fasting, Intermittent Fasting, and fasting-mimicking (ProLon®) are all excellent practices for starving cancer cells. I suggest doing a 48-hour fast before chemotherapy as it increases tumor shrinkage and protects your healthy cells from the negative effects of chemo. Learn more via this study.
Other reasons why you should fast:
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- Decreases inflammation.
- Strengthens your immune system.
- Autophagy: removing abnormal and damaged cells.
- Increases your healthy cell’s resistance to chemo.
- Promotes regulation of healthy cells, which prevents side effects from conventional treatments.
Foods You Must Avoid
These foods should be avoided during your breast cancer healing journey. They also should be on the do-not-touch list for anyone who wants to live a vibrantly healthy life.
The Warburg Effect: “The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in healthy cells by a fermentation of sugar.” -Dr. Otto Warburg. Cancer cells are fed by sugar first because they have more insulin receptors than healthy cells. This is why glucose (refined carbs and sugar) powers up cancer cells.
- All artificial sweeteners, especially ones in pink, blue, or yellow packets.
- High fructose corn syrup.
- White and brown refined sugar
- Carbs including white rice and bread and pasta made from white flour
- High-sugar fruits
Don’t even look at it! Tap water is a cocktail of chemicals that contains “forever chemicals,” cancer-causing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, PFAs, bromide, etc. To know exactly what’s in your tap water, please check out EWG’s interactive map and database. You can also review this blog post on water and breast cancer here.
I use the Royal Berkey Water Filter because it removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222, and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrites and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. Aquasana Home Systems allows you to instantly transform your shower, bath, laundry, cooking, and drinking water into clean, extraordinarily safe water. Click here to learn about their innovative technology.
I’m also a big fan of Hydrogen Water, especially Synergy Science’s Echo Water, as it reduces oxidative stress in the body and provides an incredibly effective filter.
Test, Test, Test!!
The only way to know what exactly your body needs to thrive is to get personalized data from testing. As mentioned above, I need a balanced carnivore diet with plenty of veggies on my plate. I was already aware of this based on The Gonzalez Metabolic Type Test. I also recommend comprehensive tests such as the Nutrition Genome test. It will teach you what foods and supplements you need to support your genetic weaknesses.
By following some of these suggestions, many women in our community have successfully recovered from their conventional treatments and are NOT actively “cancering” any longer. You can be one of them too! Please contact us here and let us know how we can best support you during your healing journey.
Author: Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V, is a Doctor of Chiropractic & has 44 years of experience in the wellness industry. For personalized support, please partner with a trained Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach.