Cancer is a disease that affects everyone in some way or another. It’s a complex and multifaceted problem, but it also has some simple solutions. There are many factors that can influence your risk of developing cancer, including your genetics, environmental exposures, and lifestyle choices like diet.
Although there isn’t one specific food or food group that can prevent cancer, eating foods that fight cancer can help your body stay strong and overcome cancerous cells. Talk with your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you more about how these foods may be beneficial to you if you have other health conditions. Here are just a few examples of the types of foods you should regularly eat:
Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. They also contain carotenoids, which reduce oxidative stress in the body. Fresh pressed tomato juice has been found to help protect against lung cancer and other cancers. The lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and protect against DNA damage. Lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage to cells, which can lead to cancer and heart disease.
Nuts are a great source of heart-healthy fats and fiber. They also contain antioxidants which may reduce inflammation. There are several types of nuts like peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios that can help prevent certain cancers, including colorectal, endometrial and pancreatic cancer.
Apples may have a lot of benefits, but one, in particular, is cancer-fighting. This fruit has even been dubbed the “Wonder Fruit” after some studies showed that it may help prevent or treat certain types of cancer. A compound called quercetin can be found in apples, and it may protect cells from damage—a key component to preventing diseases such as cancer.
Whole grains provide greater health benefits than refined grains because they contain more fiber (indigestible carbohydrates). Also, research has shown that eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce your risk of many common diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Whole grains are protective against cancer, especially gastrointestinal cancers such as gastric and colon, and hormonally-dependent cancers including breast and prostate.
Cruciferous vegetables are a family of vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and collard greens. These vegetables contain glucosinolates and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), two substances that help your body fight against cancer. The National Cancer Institute has found that people who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk for certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. AICR studies show that people who consume 10 or more servings of cruciferous vegetables per week can cut their risk for colon cancer by 50%.
Even though there are many different types of cancer and many different ways you can get it, there are also many things you can do to keep it from coming after you. Early detection is good but prevention is ideal because in the end you save time and money. In addition to eating a diet filled with organic colorful fruits and vegetables, don’t forget your regular check-ups to your doctor to maintain good health.
What can you do to lower your risk of getting cancer? By eating a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables (like berries) and exercising regularly, you can keep your body fit and healthy. If not completely prevent cancer, these lifestyle choices will also help to prevent high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes—other health conditions linked to cancer. By improving your diet, you improve your whole health. Begin your journey to better wellness today.