3 Superfoods Scientifically Proven to Prevent Breast Cancer

New research finds properties that suppress estrogen, cancer cell spread

By Daisy Lin
|  Monday, Dec 2, 2013  |  Updated 2:37 PM PDT
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New research from Duarte’s City of Hope Cancer Center shows that mushrooms, blueberries and pomegranates have been proven to help prevent breast cancer in clinical trials.

Dr. Bruce Hensel

New research from Duarte’s City of Hope Cancer Center shows that mushrooms, blueberries and pomegranates have been proven to help prevent breast cancer in clinical trials. "It's so exciting because it's so easy yet it can have very powerful effects," says chef and food blogger Katie Chin. Dr. Bruce Hensel reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2012.

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New research from one of the world's leading cancer centers has pinpointed three breast cancer super foods, and shown how they may work to stop cancer in its tracks.

Researchers at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte found three particular foods actually helped to prevent  breast cancer in clinical trials.

It is good news to chef and food blogger Katie Chin, who has a history of breast cancer in her family, and is very careful about the ingredients she uses in her recipes.

"My mother taught me that what you eat determines who you are," she said. "Both of my parents passed away from cancer, and my sister was a breast cancer survivor."

Now, she can add proven cancer fighters to her dishes.

"It’s so exciting because it’s so easy... [and] could have such powerful effects," she said.

Superfood 1: Mushrooms.

Most breast cancer feeds on the hormone estrogen. In the lab and in human trials, researcher Shiuan Chen found that mushrooms can cut off that fuel for cancer cells. 

"Turns out mushroom has some kind of fatty acid.  One of these fatty acid then actually had the ability to suppress estrogen formation…through that process it actually stops the proliferation of the cancer cell," Chen said.

Mushrooms can help men, too. Researchers found eating them can impact the marker for prostate cancer. A group of patients who had high PSA levels who ingested mushrooms saw a dramatic reduction in their levels.

Superfood 2: Blueberries

The research showed blueberries had the ability to stop the spread of cancer.

"The problem with cancer is once it starts metastasizing... the cancer cell starts moving  to other parts of the body, that becomes the issue.  So, blueberry seems to have that ability to stop the migration of the cancer cell," Chen said.

Breast Cancer Super Food #3 – Pomegranates

A unique chemical present only in pomegranates seems to block estrogen’s effects as well.

Chen suggests eating the foods fresh for the best effect. He also stressed that these foods are not to treat existing cancer, but to help prevent cancer from developing.

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