Did you know that what and how much you eat can affect your risk of developing certain cancers? The development of Cancer in particular has been shown to be heavily influenced by your diet. According to the American Cancer Society, about 20% of diagnosed cancer cases in the US are linked to diet, excess weight and inactivity. It is relatively difficult to establish a definitive link between cancer and specific foods or nutrients. However, research shows that there are some foods that contain cancer-fighting properties. (This does not mean that one food or another can prevent or stop cancer in its tracks), Many foods contain beneficial compounds. An overall healthy diet, filled with fruits and veggies, is key to warding off heart diseases and possible cancer too.
You may not be in control of some of the risk factors associated with cancer. For example, in the case of family history, but you can always take action when it comes to your daily lifestyle habits. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Here is a guide to the foods that may help prevent cancer.
Please Note that current research is limited to animal, test-tube and observational studies. There is still more research that needs to be done to understand how these foods may directly affect cancer development in humans.
Whoever thought garlic breath would be good for you? The active component in garlic is allicin. Multiple studies have shown that allicin inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Garlic and red onions actually block the formation of nitrosamines (powerful carcinogens) that target several parts of the body. This is usually the breasts, colon and liver.
These are vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Plant nutrients help to reduce inflammation, which is associated with the development of cancer. Although all dark leafy greens are recommended for overall health and wellness, cruciferous vegetables are especially high in sulforaphane. This is a plant compound that is known to have potent anti-cancer properties. Some studies have even found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower risks of colorectal – bowel and colon cancer.
Not only are berries great for overall healthy-looking skin, turns out that they can also offer possible protection against heart diseases, memory decline as well as cancer. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to reduce the risk of some cancers. Berries are especially packed with powerful antioxidants that may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Strawberries, black berries and raspberries are not only rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, but they also contain ellagic acid. Ellagic acid can be applied to the skin as a skin-lightening agent but it’s more popularly known for its anti-cancer properties.
The seeds in red grapes are filled with activin. A very potent antioxidant that is known for its cancer-fighting properties. Besides eating red grapes, red wine and red-grape juice may actually offer significant protection against certain types of cancers as well as other chronic degenerative diseases.
PS: Some lesser-known but equally powerful cancer-prevention fruits include:
If you don’t currently eat fish, you may want to start including this to your diet. Research suggests that including servings of fatty fish (especially salmon and tuna) in your diet each week may reduce your risk of getting cancer. Salmon and tuna contain omega 3 fatty acids. This type of fatty acid has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate and digestive tract cancer.
Soy is one of the few plant foods with all the amino acids your body needs to make protein. Real soy foods such as tofu can be highly beneficial. However, be on the lookout for highly processed soy products. Because soy contains isoflavones, a compound similar to estrogen, there was fear that soy may rise risk of hormone-related cancers. However, according to a study published in the journal of cancer, March 2017; breast cancer survivors who consumed the most soy had both a lower risk of the cancer recurring, and a lower risk of death over a 10 year follow-up period.
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