A growing body of research indicates that cancer can be successfully prevented through diet. This life-threatening disease is caused by the abnormal behavior of certain cells. Some foods can stop these cells from growing and forming tumors, leading to a reduced risk of cancer. Others, especially those high in sugar, feed cancer cells and weaken immune function.
Each year, more than one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. This condition has a variety of causes, from gene mutations to radiation, hormonal disorders, and chronic inflammation. A high-antioxidant diet can reduce the damage caused by these factors and protect against cancer. For example, many common vegetables have antioxidant and antiproliferative effects, and may stop tumor growth completely. So, here are the best cancer-fighting foods to include in your diet:
Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, appears to have the greatest potential in fighting cancer. This natural compound modulates gene expression and activity while promoting healthy cell function. An overwhelming number of studies indicate that curcumin kills cancer cells, inhibits pancreatic cancer, and enhances the effects of anti-cancer medications. It also decreases inflammation and reduces oxidative stress, which further helps prevent this deadly disease.
Along with turmeric, garlic is considered one of the most powerful cancer-fighting foods on earth. Allicin and other compounds in this spice, remove free radicals from your system, cleanse the liver, and boost immunity. They also block carcinogens from entering cells and spreading throughout the body. Research shows that people who consume garlic regularly have a lower risk of cancer, especially in the stomach, colon, and esophagus.
Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables have been shown to prevent cancer. The substances released when you chew these veggies have the ability to kill cancer cells and stop them from multiplying. Broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol and glucoraphanin, two powerful antioxidants that help lower the risk of gastric, breast, prostate, and cervical cancers. Cruciferous veggies also fight inflammation and support cardiovascular function, so add them to your plate daily. Be aware that most phytochemicals are sensitive to heat, so it’s best to eat your veggies raw.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and other antioxidants that protect against prostate cancer. These natural compounds stop the proliferation of cancer cells and prevent DNA damage caused by free radicals. In the long run, they can reduce your risk of lung and stomach cancer, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and high cholesterol. To reap the benefits of lycopene, cook the tomatoes before eating them. This substance can also be found in ketchup, tomato juice, chili sauce, apricots, red bell peppers, pink grapefruit, and watermelons.
According to researchers, strawberries and other berries slow down cancer cell growth due to their high levels of ellagic acid. These fruits also contain vitamin C, which displays anti-cancer properties. The flavonoids in strawberries deactivate specific carcinogens and induce programmed self-destruction of cancer cells.
Other foods that fight cancer include spinach, carrots, pomegranate, ginger, leeks, chives, and citrus fruit. Green tea is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants, so it protects against cancer too. The same goes for red wine, which contains resveratrol, a powerful compound that neutralizes free radicals and keeps cancer cells from spreading. Add a combination of these foods daily to lower your risk of this disease.