10 Foods That Are Awesome When It Comes To Breast Health

Besides when we're putting on or taking off our bra or we're going to the doctor for a check-up, a lot of us don't give our breasts much thought. For instance, did you know that breasts consist of both glandular tissue and fatty tissue that lie over each of your pectoral muscles? If you knew that part, did you know that the glandular part of your breasts consists of 15 to 20 lobes that contain smaller lobules that are responsible for producing milk (via WebMD)? And if you knew all of that, were you aware that more than mere genetics play a role in what your breast size turns out to be? Weight, pregnancy, aging, and your exercise habits also play a part (via Healthline). Clearly, there's a lot to know.

Approximately 287,850 women in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2022, and there are other breast conditions to be mindful of — like breast cysts, fibrocystic breast disease, fat necrosis, breast calcifications, and mastitis (which sometimes happens to moms who breastfeed). This is why it's important to see your physician for your annual physical and to get mammograms every year once you reach the age of 45.

For all of these reasons, it's important to be hypervigilant about taking care of your breasts, and this includes paying attention to the kind of foods that you eat. So, the next time you head out to the grocery store, maybe pick up some foods to support your breast health.

Berries contain properties that lower your breast cancer risk

Berries are good for you for a lot of reasons. According to Medical News Today, they are full of antioxidants, and they contain properties that can lower your risk for heart disease. They have also been linked to doing everything from strengthening bones and lowering blood pressure to improving mental health and the overall quality of your skin.

Two reasons why berries are so good when it comes to your breast health is because berries like blueberries can actually lower your risk for obesity, which can help your breasts to maintain a healthy consistent size. Also, the flavonoids (plant compounds) and anthocyanins (water-soluble pigments) found in them have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of breast cancer over time.

It's important to take note that if you want to get the most out of the berries you consume, you should try to get them while they are in season. That said, most berries are ripe during the summer months.

Collard greens are high in vitamin E

Pretty much any dark leafy green is going to be good for you. But if nothing makes you happier than a plate full of sautéed collards, for example, all of this info is going to bring you a lot of joy. Collards are a low-calorie green that are full of fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and calcium. Healthline also shares that this particular food works to improve both bone and eye health. They can also aid in the digestive process and can improve your cholesterol levels too.

Another nutrient that collard greens have in them is vitamin E (via Medical News Today). This is good to know when it comes to achieving optimal breast health because vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is thought to help reduce your chances of getting breast cancer, according to a review published in Nutrition and Cancer. Another bonus is the potassium that's also in collards may help to hinder the growth of breast cancer-related tumors too.

Dried fruits have phytoestrogens in them

Do you enjoy snacking on dried apricots or dried cranberries? Since dried fruit is basically fruit that is void of water, this means that you can get the same nutritional benefits of "regular fruit" minus the hydration. According to Healthline, dried fruit is really good for you because it contains all kinds of fiber, antioxidants, and micronutrients. That means it might lower your blood pressure levels, balance out your blood sugar, and keep you regular, and, because dried fruit is naturally sweet, it can also help to curb your appetite for processed sugar.

Dried fruits can be good for your breasts because they are high in phytoestrogen (plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen), as noted by an article published in Phytotherapy Research. As you age and your body loses estrogen, consuming phytoestrogen foods can potentially boost your estrogen levels so that you look more youthful and radiant — breasts included. Dried fruit is one of the sweetest ways to keep your breasts looking younger for longer. Science can totally back this up!

Oats can help new moms keep a steady flow of milk

So, what if you're a new mom who's decided to breastfeed your newborn? If initially you're having trouble producing the amount of milk that your child needs, Healthline shared that a few things you can do include massaging your breasts, using a hospital-grade breast pump, drinking plenty of water, getting as much rest as you can, and taking warm showers (so that milk can come out easier). Another thing that you can do is up your oats intake. Health-wise, oats are good for you because they are high in fiber, protein, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, and copper (via Healthline). All of these things work together to give moms relief from constipation and a way to eat a food that will fill them up without causing a lot of unwanted pounds in the process.

Something else that's awesome about oats is there are studies to support that iron can help to increase a woman's milk supply, as noted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Medicine and Public Health. Since oats are a good source of that, it's just one more reason for new moms to have a bowl of oatmeal or a glass of oat milk on a fairly consistent basis.

Red and orange vegetables can protect your skin from UV damage

Something that comes right along with the aging process is a change in how breasts look. As WebMD shared, it's not uncommon that once estrogen levels start to decrease, breasts can change when it comes to their size, their shape, and their level of firmness. Sometimes nipples change and more non-cancerous lumps appear too. This is where foods that have a red or orange pigment to them can prove to be pretty handy.

Whether you like fruits like tomatoes or cantaloupe or veggies like carrots or orange bell peppers, something that they all have in them is antioxidants known as carotenoids, as noted by Healthline. These are beneficial for your breasts because they help to protect them from experiencing UV ray damage and keep free radicals at bay too (via Antioxidants). All of this is awesome because the better condition that your breasts' skin is in, the easier it will be to keep them looking youthful for years to come.

Quinoa may help to keep your breasts firm

According to Live Science, quinoa isn't just considered to be a food that's good for you; it actually has the reputation of being a "superfood." It's a whole grain that's a solid source of fiber, zinc, protein, vitamins B and E, copper, and iron. It contains fatty acids and antioxidants, and it's full of anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it's a type of food that is gluten-free. So, if you've been looking for something that will improve your heart's health, reduce your risk of hypertension, and even ultimately increase your longevity, look no further than quinoa.

Quinoa can also help to keep the breasts' skin in top form. Thanks to the rich antioxidants that are in them, as noted in an article published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology, every serving of this whole grain you enjoy could help your breasts get the nutrients that they need — ones that will totally slow down the aging process.

Flaxseeds have properties that may block cell damage

If you've heard that flaxseeds are good for you, but they don't seem super appealing to your palate, remember that you can always add either some flaxseed powder or oil to things like your smoothies, your yogurt, or your favorite condiment. When you do, you'll be getting a good serving of omega-3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens, and lots of fiber. All of this can help to keep heart disease at bay, fight off bodily inflammation, and even reduce the amount of hot flashes that you experience if you happen to be going through menopause (via WebMD).

Flaxseeds also contain properties that may help to prevent breast cancer. Not only that, but they also could help inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells that may already be present (via Nutrition and Cancer). Also, since flaxseeds can possibly block estrogen receptors in breast tissue, this means that they can potentially help to prevent cell damage within your breasts too (via VeryWell Health).

Eggs can help reduce your breast cancer risk

Boiled. Scrambled. Pan-fried. Poached. There really are all kinds of different ways to prepare eggs. And no matter what way your preference may be, one thing you can be sure of is they all will give you some health benefits that are worth taking special note of. Healthline shared that eggs are a great source of protein, vitamin B, and folate. They can help to reduce your HDL cholesterol levels, improve your eye health, lower your risk of heart disease, and provide your system with the kind of amino acids that will give your muscle mass a boost while strengthening your bones in the process.

And why are they so good for your overall breast health? Studies reveal that there could be a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Luckily, one hard-boiled egg can give you 25% of the amount of vitamin B12 that you need on a daily basis, according to WebMD. Also, if you're in the process of breastfeeding, getting more of this nutrient into your body may help your breasts to produce more milk.

Peaches are great for breast health because they contain lignans

When's the last time you had a nice juicy peach? If it's been a minute, spring through early fall are the best times of the year to get this particular fruit at its absolute best. It's kind of wild how healthy peaches are when you stop to think about how delicious they taste. Yet, as WebMD pointed out, peaches are full of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber. This makes them a fruit that's good for your eyesight, and it keeps you regular, supports healing, and helps to give your immunity a boost.

The reason why peaches are good for your breasts, specifically, is because they contain lignans. Lignans are super beneficial when it comes to preventing breast cancer because the properties in them are proven to reduce the risk of being diagnosed with this particular disease, as noted in the British Journal of Cancer. Pretty impressive, indeed.

A Mediterranean diet is super healthy for you

If your idea of the perfect meal is one that has a Mediterranean theme, you're absolutely going to love this! It's pretty common knowledge that Mediterranean dishes often consist of lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, beans, grains, potatoes, olives, and olive oil. Well, WebMD has something to say about how all of this works in your breasts' favor.

The reality is that women who eat diets that consist of high-fat dairy foods (like ice cream), processed foods (like combo meals), and refined grains (like white bread) can increase their chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer by as much as a whopping 46%. Meanwhile, women who consume foods that fall more into the Mediterranean category can decrease their chances of being diagnosed with the disease by as much as 44%.

You know how olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet? Well, virgin olive oil has compounds in it that help to kill certain kinds of breast cancer cells, according to WebMD. Seems like you can enjoy a Mediterranean diet without one ounce of guilt — so make sure that you do!