You Can Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Cancer By Eating These Foods
Everyone knows that eating well is #goals for most of us — it kicks up your energy levels, protects your waistline, and your nourishes your cognitive functioning. The thing is, eating well — colorfully and nutritiously — is also a smart way to do all that you can to stay healthy in the long-term.
Food can actually help ward away disease risk, including the risk of cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2018, it was estimated that 1,735,350 were diagnosed with cancer. The estimation was, sadly, that 609,640 people would die from the disease. Obviously, these numbers tell us that cancer is largely out of our control. The disease, unfortunately, can strike anyone.
Cancer is caused by toxins, genetics, UV radiation, age, gender, inflammation, and other factors…including lifestyle. That’s where our diet comes into play.
Food can absolutely be used as a pre-emptive strike against illness or even as a medicinal tool. In fact, lots of nutritionists and scientists believe food holds the key to our wellness — in body, mind, and spirit. There sure have been plenty of books written about it.
But food isn’t a cure-all, and no single food can ward off cancer.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, there isn’t a single food that can protect you from cancer, but research shows that a diet filled with a variety of foods, including plant foods, helps lower risk for many cancers.
Among those cancer-fighting foods? Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans.
It’s the vitamins and phytochemicals in these foods that offer the anti-cancer effects.
However, the American Institute for Cancer Research says that research has shown that the overall diet — full of diverse vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals — offers the most powerful punch when it comes to supporting the prevention of cancer.
So if you’re looking for a list of cancer fighting foods to add to your grocery list, look no further.
You can start by eating more apples.
Apples offer tons of fiber (more on that below) and vitamin C, which can boost the immune system.
They are chock full of phytochemicals and antioxidants, which protect against free radicals.
Free radicals (which come from the environment, toxins, or smoke) you might not know, can lead to cancer. Apples are also anti-inflammatory. They’re a miracle fruit!
And then add some of everyone’s favorite yogurt topper, blueberries, to your menu.
Blueberries also offer up lots of vitamins C, but they’re packed with vitamin K, manganese and dietary fiber.
These little berries pack a serious punch when it comes to their antioxidant power.
They contain plenty of phytochemicals that can help prevent against the damage done by free radicals.
In fact, most berries offer anti-cancer properties.
Healthline reports that both test-tube and animals studies show that berries of all sorts may decrease the growth and spread of certain cancer types.
This is because they contain anthocyanins, plant pigments that offer antioxidant qualities.
Some test-tube and animal studies have found that the compounds in berries may decrease the growth and spread of certain types of cancer.
Spices also offer up some health-protecting magic.
Do you like a turmeric latter here and there? Good…
Because turmeric is a mighty anti-cancer spice.
You can thank its active ingredient, Curcumin, for its health-supporting power.
Studies have found that curcumin actually has helped to protect against certain forms of cancers, including lung, breast, prostate, neck, and color cancer. You can add it to foods or take a supplement daily.
But turmeric isn’t the only spice that protects your health.
Cinnamon has anti-cancer qualities, too.
The oh-so-yummy spice we love to add to cakes, cookies, and even coffee offers a bunch of health-boosting qualities: It can reduce blood sugar, help ward off inflammation, and it can even kill cancer cells, according to one study.
The same study states that cinnamon also offers “anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammation, anti-diabetic and anti-tumor activity.”
Who knew that such a basic pantry spice was so powerful?
It’s a tall order but the science is there. The study says, “Our study suggests that anti-tumor effect of cinnamon extracts is directly linked with enhanced pro-apoptotic activity.”
Quick science lesson: “Apoptotic” means “cell death.” The study suggests further research to elucidate the uses of cinnamon.
Like spaghetti squash noodles? You’re in luck!
Squash is a cancer-fighting food, too.
These golden-colored babies are filled with potassium, vitamin C and fiber, and they offer up carotenoids, which act as antioxidants.
Helping you stay healthy, these carotenoids are like little soldiers within the body — making sure your defenses are up.
Beyond being a serious nutritional power-packed veggie, it’s super rich in manganese.
Broccoli is a powerful food.
Because it contains a cancer-fighting plant compound called sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is basically found in cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower or broccoli) that research has shown may offer powerful anti-cancer effects. According to Healthline, studies found that this all-powerful compound may actually reduce prostate cancer cells as well as the size and also the number of breast cancer cells by up to 7 percent.
The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends filling your plate with at least 2/3 plant foods.
Like the Cleveland Clinic says, you should follow one single rule of thumb every day: Eat at least three different colors of fruits and veggies. Why? “There are different bioactive ingredients in the pigment of fruits and vegetables that may reduce cancer risks.”
Here’s an idea: Make some asparagus for dinner, have an avocado for breakfast, and eat some salad for lunch. Done!
In short, you’ve got to eat ALL SORTS of fruits and veggies to really get the most cancer-fighting benefits.
And when you’re chowing down, you’ll want to remember that healthy foods are the way — not just because of what they contain, but because they help decrease body fat. Body fact, according to research, is actually linked to the risk of 12 cancers. For this reason, you’ll wanna fill your plate with greens and colorful fruits.
Beyond veggies and fruits, you’ll also want to eat loads of fiber.
According to Reuters, eating lots of whole grains and dietary fiber can help to lower your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease — all of which can lead to some types of cancer (like liver and colon). Eat bananas, peas, whole grains, almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
Sprinkle some nuts onto your salad!
Research has found that nuts can lower the risk of cancer significantly.
One study found that out of almost 20,000 people, those who ate nuts often had a decreased risk of getting a cancer diagnosis.
So, what are the specific nuts we are talking about? Brazil nuts and walnuts have specifically been found to be anticancer nuts.
Walnuts and pecans are also pretty powerful.
In just 25 walnuts you’ll get 100 oranges’ worth of vitamin C.
And remember — vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidants. That’s a lot of health-protecting magic right there.
Be sure to add some fish to your daily dish.
Specifically, fatty fish offers the most benefits.
According to Healthline, you’ll want to add fatty fish to your plate a few times per week.
Fatty fish can help protect against a few types of cancer (while red meat and lunch meat can actually cause it).
You will want to add a few types of fish to your diet, including salmon and mackerel. Oh, and if you can stomach them, anchovies are full of the good stuff too.
You can thank the omega-3 fatty acids for the anticancer effects.
According to a study, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids), which include the magical acids EPA and DHA, contain anti-cancer compounds. These acids may actually prevent cancer from spreading and surviving within the body. However, more research is needed.
The important thing is to eat like this daily. Not just every once in a while!
In the end, you’ll want to take care of your body in a holistic way.
Beyond eating specific foods, you should focus on eating lots of fresh and colorful produce, diversifying your meals, and avoiding empty carbs and process foods. Quit smoking, if you do, and be sure to guzzle loads of water each and every day. And if you’re a heavy alcohol drinker, know that it can cause many forms of cancer.
When you’re eating, be sure to avoid overloading your food with salt.
Go light with the salt shaker, for one. However, you’ll also want to avoid super salty foods.
You’ll find tons of sodium packaged meats and dried fish, or in processed and pre-packaged soups and snacks.
All this salt can lead to high blood pressure, but it is also linked to stomach and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Were you expecting all these delicious foods to be so good for you?