10 Cancer-Fighting Foods To Add To Your Diet
Proven effective (and delicious)!
We’ve heard it all before: Everything causes cancer. Anything from smoking (and secondhand smoking) to radiation, from obesity to alcohol intake and sometimes even genetics can increase the risk of certain types of cancer. So how exactly are we supposed to keep away from it?
One easy way is to load up on food items that have been proven to keep cancer at bay. And with the alarming rate of cancer cases, we should all take precaution where we can.
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Several population studies (which basically look at population groups to investigate the effect of health-related interventions and dietary intake) have shown an association between increased garlic intake and the reduction of certain types of cancers. The list includes cancer of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas and breast. It is largely believed that the correlation is because of the sulfur compounds found in garlic, which might stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer and also has the potential to reduce tumor growth.
It might cause bad breath, but it’s the lesser of two evils. Besides, you can always just brush your teeth #LifeHacks
When it comes to antioxidants, almost nothing is as packed with it as blueberries are. This is important because antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are unstable compounds that can severely damage cells and cause diseases such as cancer. Moreover, some studies have proven that blueberries have very effective anti-inflammatory features.
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Very few food options naturally provide us with vitamin D, which is why salmon is always a good option to take. Vitamin D helps block the development of blood vessels that feed growing tumors and even help stop the spread of cancerous and precancerous cells.
Some research has proven that individuals who eat at least four servings of fish a week were nearly one-third less likely to develop leukemia, myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And fatty fish specifically reduces the risk of endometrial cancer in women.
Cabbage in itself is already hailed as one of the highest-valued vegetables because of the amount of anticarcinogenic bioactive compounds. Not to mention, the glucasinolates in cabbage help activate our nature-given antioxidants. And when you mix cabbage with a fermentation process, great things happen.
Studies have found that the fermentation process that is used in making sauerkraut produces several cancer-fighting compounds, which include ITCs, indoles and sulforaphane. But yes, there is a need to reduce the sodium found in canned or jarred sauerkraut. So before you dig your spoon into it, rinse it with water first.
An apple a day keeps the doctor—and cancer cells—away. Research has indicated that when the natural fibers found in apples ferment in the colon, a chemical is produced that helps fight the formation of cancer cells. Moreover, other studies have proven that procyanidins, the antioxidant in apples, triggered a series of cell signals that led to the death of some cancer cells.
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There are certain anticancer antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene that work best with a little more help. Fortunately, the healthy monounsaturated fats found in avocado and its oils help our bodies better absorb these. It has also been found that avocado molecules target the stem cells of acute myeloid leukemia.
Because of the digestive benefits of bran, the high fiber is believed to reduce the risk f colon cancer and other obesity-related cancers. So to make it easier for the lazy and/or on-the-go of us, just stock up on some bran cereal (and maybe throw in some extra spoonfuls of oat bran, too).
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Not only are carrots the most abundant source of beta-carotene, but they also contain other carotenoids (like alpha-carotene and bioflavonoids) that have been closely linked to reducing the risk of cancer—especially lung cancer. But warning to the smokers, because beta-carotene supplements may be harmful to you.
Selenium has been proven to be a potent cancer-fighting mineral, of which Portobello and white mushrooms are a good source. Mushrooms in general are also full of disease-fighting phytochemicals and eating them has been linked to lower risks of breast cancer in women.
The National Cancer Institute has found that individuals who consume four or more cups of coffee, whether regular or decaf, have a fifteen percent lower risk of colon cancer than those who do not drink coffee. Specifically, studies from the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital indicate that coffee intake may reduce the risk of the skin cancer basal cell carcinoma.
We may not be able to help everything that happens to us, but there are definitely still things that we can control on our own. So take advantage of everything that falls under the latter and help yourself—no one else will!