You may wish you could eat certain foods and put breast augmentation surgeons out of business, but this just isn't a realistic possibility. Your breast size is largely a matter of genetics. Increasing your calorie intake with healthy foods may increase the size of your breasts, but will likely cause you to gain weight all over the rest of your body too. Gaining weight only in the breasts, or any specific part of your body, is simply impossible.
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Breast Tissue 101
Your breasts are made up of fat tissue as well as duct and lobule tissue to facilitate breast feeding. Women with larger breasts simply carry more fat in their chests. When you gain weight, your breasts may increase in size as the fat cells there swell to store excess energy. However, your breast size is limited by the number of fat cells contained there, which is determined by genetics. If your breasts have a greater proportion of duct and lobule tissue, even gaining weight may not cause them to change size much. The only way to determine the makeup of your breasts is through medical imaging.
Gain Weight Healthfully for Possibly Larger Breasts
Technically, any food that causes you to gain weight could increase the size of your bust. However, only a small portion of that weight gain, if any at all, will be concentrated in your chest. You'll likely also expand your hips, waist and thighs.
Gain weight if you're underweight, with a body mass index below 18.5, and your doctor has indicated you'd benefit from adding a few pounds. You may even get the desired result of increasing your breast size. Consume quality foods, rather than junky processed options, to add calories daily. Aim for 250 to 500 calories more per day to add 1/2 to 1 pound per week. Dense-calorie and highly nutritious foods, including nuts, yogurt, dried fruit and whole grains, are some of your best options.
Soy Foods and Increased Breast Size
Many websites and magazine articles claim that you can increase your breast size by consuming more soy-containing foods. Soy does contain phytoestrogens, a compound that mimics the female hormone estrogen, which causes swelling and increases breast tissue growth. But no notable scientific research supports consuming more soy foods to increase the size of your bust. Most research examines the effects of soy intake on breast cancer risk, finding -- as did a paper in a 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition -- that moderate soy consumption is safe and supports a decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
Too much estrogen, as well as phytoestrogens from supplements and soy foods, may increase your risk of breast cancer, however. Consume soy in moderation from foods including soybeans and tofu, but minimize your intake of foods enhanced with soy -- such as protein bars and cereal.
Other foods contain phytoestrogens, including fennel and anise seed, but have no proven effect on your breast size.
Herbs for Breast Growth
Breast enhancement products and folklore claim that certain herbs will help to enhance your breast size. These include hops, dong quai, chaste-tree berry, wild yam, kava, black cohosh and fenugreek. Some, such as fenugreek, are available as dried spices that you can use to season foods; others are only available in supplement form. None of these ingredients have a proven effect on your breast size, however, reports a 2003 paper published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- Plos Blogs: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Breast Fat But Were Afraid to Ask
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Breast Implant Surgery
- The Journal of Nutrition: Is Soy Consumption Good or Bad for the Breast?
- Obstetrics and Gynecology: "Bust Enhancing" Herbal Products
- Psychology Today: Breast-Enlarging Herbs: A Bust?
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Fennel and Anise as Estrogenic Agents.