With cancer affecting so many people in the world today, it's no wonder that people are looking for more ways to help fight off this disease. While medications and therapies like radiation and chemotherapy are surely effective in treating cancer, more studies have been emerging that link lifestyle changes to beating this disease. One of the ways in which anyone can take steps to reduce their risk for cancer is by eating the right foods. Utilize these healthy options in your diet to help fight off cancer and improve your overall health.
Numerous studies have linked fish to lower rates of cancer. That's because fatty fish like mackerel, sardines and wild salmon contain high levels of long-chain omega 3s, which slow the growth of cancer cells. They are especially effective for tumors in the lungs, breast, colon, prostate or kidneys. Experts recommend eating fish at least two or three times a week for the best results, with fresh fish being preferable to frozen products.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
Adding green leafy vegetables in your diet can give you an additional supplement of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant known to kill off dangerous free radicals and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. These veggies also have plenty of folate, which can reduce the risk of lung and breast cancer. For the best results, choose darker greens like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, spinach and arugula.
The phytochemicals found in beans are known for their ability to prevent or slow genetic damage to cells. While this benefit makes them a great protection against many types of cancer, they are very closely linked to a reduced risk for prostate cancer in particular.
4. Whole Grains
Many of the compounds in whole grains, such as fiber, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, are closely linked anti-cancer properties. Include whole grain cereals, pastas and breads in a balanced diet to get these health benefits.
Apples contain several chemicals that are actually good for your body, many of which also inhibit the growth of liver, breast, and colon cancer cells. Always make sure to eat the peel of the apple, however, since this is where most of these beneficial chemicals are found.
Just about all types of berries - including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and raspberries - contain substances called ellagic acids and polyphenols, both of which can slow the growth of tumors. Some of the polyphenols can also help kill off cancer cells. With berries, both frozen and fresh varieties are just as effective.
7. Dark Chocolate
Antioxidants, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins are all found in significant quantities in dark chocolate. These substances limit the growth of both cancer cells and the blood vessels that feed those cells. However, these benefits are only attributed to dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa, so check product packaging carefully.
8. Green Tea
This healthy drink contains compounds called catechins (especially a particular compound called EGCG) which may be able to reduce the growth of blood vessels which feed tumors. Green tea also contains plenty of antioxidants and detoxifying compounds which help to eliminate cancer cells from the body. Some studies have also linked green tea consumption to improved results from radiation in those who are undergoing treatment for cancer. According to Prevention, Japanese green tea is more effective than green teas because it contains more EGCG.
Garlic has been found to extremely effective when it comes to lowering the risk of many dangerous cancers. Along with similar veggies like onions, chives and shallots, garlic helps encourage the elimination of breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer cells. For the best results, crush cloves of garlic and combine them with some olive oil. This will make the garlic easier to absorb.
There are plenty of spices which may be beneficial for reducing cancer risk, but few have been found to be as effective as turmeric. On top of being a powerful anti-inflammatory, this spice slows tumor growth, helps kill off cancer cells and can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Although turmeric is found in curry powder, it's more potent when ground fresh. You may need to search for spice shops in your area or online since many supermarkets don't have fresh ground turmeric.
Although these ten foods are some of the most potent when it comes to anti-cancer compounds, there are plenty of additional foods which may also help fight off cancer, such as tomatoes, avocados, soy and flaxseed. Talk to your physician about making healthy changes to your diet if you have any questions. Additionally, make sure to talk to your oncologist about making these changes if you are currently undergoing treatment for cancer.