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Nutrition is an important part of staying healthy. Through proper nutrition and exercise you can keep your body strong and have more energy. If you're currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer or you’ve been treated for breast cancer in the past, eating well is especially important for you.

A healthy, balanced diet can also help you reduce the risk of your breast cancer coming back, and lower the risk of other cancers, obesity, heart disease and adult-onset diabetes.

If you’re going through treatment, you may feel tired more often. To help keep your energy level up, you’ll need more calories and protein.

People need to also ensure they are well hydrated.

Tips to help increase your calorie and protein intake:

  • Eat smaller and more frequent snacks throughout the day.

  • Eat every few hours.

  • Drink high protein shakes.

  • Increase your source of protein by adding fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts and nut butters, dried beans, peas, lentils and soy food to your diet.

  • Add more carbohydrates and fats to your diet to help increase your calories. Foods high in calories include cheese, yogurt and whole milk.

People who have ER/PR positive breast cancer generally try to avoid foods that contain phytoestrogens, that may increase estrogen levels in the body. Some of these foods include:

  • Seeds: flaxseeds and sesame seeds
  • Fruit: apricots, oranges, strawberries, peaches, many dried fruits
  • Vegetables: yams, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, kale, celery
  • Soy products: tofu, miso soup, soy yogurt
  • Legumes: lentils, peas, pinto beans
  • Dark rye bread
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Chickpeas
  • Culinary herbs: tumeric, thyme, sage

Talk to a registered dietitian or another member of your health care team who can give you a proper nutrition plan as you go through your treatment.