If we keep ourselves as healthy as possible and eat the right kind of foods, it may be our best defense to keep illness at bay.
Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Foods to Fight Cancer
Your diet is an important strategy you can use to reduce your risk of cancer. It is recommended that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and eat the right amount of food to stay at a healthy weight. So make room in your diet for the following cancer-fighting foods and drinks.
As a tasty treat, berries are hard to beat. Berries contain powerful antioxidants, meaning they can halt a naturally occurring process in the body that creates free radicals that can damage your cells. Compounds in berries may also help keep cancers from growing or spreading. Therefore, as part of your anti-cancer diet, pick up a handful of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or any other of your favorite berries.
Some research has found that eating tomatoes may help protect men from prostate cancer. The juicy red orbs can help guard the DNA in your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Tomatoes contain a particularly high concentration of an effective antioxidant called lycopene.
Cruciferous vegetables – the group containing broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower – may be particularly helpful in protecting you from cancer. Researchers have found that components in these vegetable can protect you from the free radicals that can damage your cells' DNA. They may also shield you from cancer-causing chemicals, help slow the growth of tumors, and encourage cancer cells to die.
Several large studies have found that those who eat more garlic are less likely to develop various kinds of cancer, especially in digestive organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and colon. Ingredients in the pungent bulbs may keep cancer-causing substances in your body from working, or they may keep cancer cells from multiplying. Experts don’t know how much you need to eat to prevent cancer, but a clove a day may be helpful.
Tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which may help prevent cancer in a variety of ways, including keeping free radicals from damaging cells. Lab studies have found that catechins in tea can shrink tumors and reduce tumor cell growth. Both green and black teas contain catechins, but you’ll get more antioxidants from green tea (if taking certain medications you should not drink green tea; consult your physician).
Whole grains contain many components that might lower your risk of cancer, including fiber and antioxidants. A large study of nearly half a million people found that eating more whole grains might lower the risk of colorectal cancer, making them a top item in the category of foods to fight cancer. Oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread and pasta are all examples of whole grains.
Black and navy beans
Beans are a great source of fiber. They also contain short chain fatty acids called butyrates. Butyrates are formed in the intestine while digesting beans, and high levels of these acids have been proven to be effective against cancer.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce are good sources of the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein. You’ll also find these nutrients in vegetables that are more traditionally eaten cooked, like collard greens, mustard greens, and kale. Some lab studies have found that chemicals in these foods may limit the growth of some kinds of cancer cells.
The skin of red grapes is a rich source of an antioxidant called resveratrol. Grape juice and red wine also contain this antioxidant. According to the National Cancer Institute, resveratrol may be useful in keeping cancer from beginning or spreading. Lab studies have found that it limits the growth of many kinds of cancer cells; in men, moderate amounts of red wine have been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
To help prevent cancer, eat a wide variety of foods rich in nutrients that protect your body's cells from damage and stay active.