Orange Is the New Pink for Breast Cancer Prevention

Posted on by Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

orange-is-new-pinkDaily Beta-Carotene Intake Reduces Breast Cancer Risk by 19% Want to reduce your risk of breast cancer? Walk past the pink balloons, wrist bands, and packaged treats at the grocery store and head straight to the produce aisle. Orange is the new pink. Research shows women who consume 3 to 6 mg of beta-carotene – the amount you’ll find in six baby carrots, half a sweet potato, or one cup of mashed pumpkin – each day slash their risk of breast cancer by about 19%. Leafy greens count, too. One cup of steamed spinach, kale, and mustard greens provide at least 10 mg of beta-carotene, twice the amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine to mitigate breast cancer risk. If you don’t have a beta-carotene chart handy, then simply reach for foods with bright green, red, or orange hue. Here are some seasonal options to get you started:
Spinach Kale Mustard Greens Carrots Butternut Squash Pumpkin Cantaloupe Red Peppers Serving SizeOne cup (cooked) One cup (cooked) One cup (cooked) 12 baby carrots One cup cubed (cooked) One cup (mashed) One cup (sliced) One cup (chopped) Beta-Carotene11.3 mg 10.6 mg 10.4 mg 10.1 mg 9.4 mg 5.1 mg 3.2 mg 2.4 mg
According to the Physician Committee’s dietary guidelines for cancer prevention published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, women who consume the most fruits and vegetables overall reduce their risk of breast cancer by 11%. That means the sky’s the limit when it comes to selecting colorful, plant-based foods. Visit to learn more about the study, plant-based dietary patterns for optimal health, and how to reduce your risk for chronic disease all year long.