Lower your risks with cancer-fighting foods

Prevention & Awareness

June 15, 2017

Lifestyle factors, including your diet, can make a huge difference in helping you reduce your risk of developing cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly one-third of all cancer-related deaths in the United States are linked to diet, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. By making small lifestyle changes and smart food choices, you can feel better, protect your health, and boost your ability fight off cancer and other diseases. Start to protect yourself by adding these six superfoods to your diet.

According to research, garlic and other relatives from the allium family — such as leeks, onions, and shallots — contain powerful antioxidants. Proven to boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, garlic also improves overall brain function and acts as a natural detoxifier. To benefit the most, chop or crush a clove of garlic to release the essential enzymes before sprinkling it into your favorite recipes.

A cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is related to cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Broccoli is good for your health, a natural anti-inflammatory, an excellent source of fiber and contains phytochemicals (plant compounds) to fight disease. To reap the full benefits, don’t cook your broccoli, eat it raw.

Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, goji berries, any kind of berries — may be one of the most beneficial fruits to eat for cancer prevention. According to studies by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients that help to prevent cell damage that precedes cancer and decrease inflammation and the growth of cancer. The best strategy is to include these delicate powerhouses in your diet each and every day!

This juicy fruit an excellent source of lycopene — an antioxidant that packs a powerful punch. It not only gives tomatoes a red hue, it is known to prevent certain types of cancer, lower the risk for heart disease and act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Note — the highest concentration of lycopene comes from cooked or canned tomatoes. Think pasta sauce!

Although there is not enough evidence to show that nuts alone can reduce the risk for cancer, studies by the AICR suggest that nuts play a role in preventing cancer. They are a great natural source of vitamins, minerals, fat, and fiber. The nut most studied for a link to cancer prevention: walnuts. They are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and of the hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. Just chop and add to your favorite dish!

Rich in phytochemicals or cancer-fighting plant compounds, beans can keep your body healthy and strong. There are many varieties of beans — black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans and much more. They are a great source of protein, fiber and contain other substances that may protect against cancer.

Unfortunately, there is not a magic bullet. It’s the combination of the right foods in your diet, along with physical activity and weight management that can help reduce the risk for cancer. Eating five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables — especially these six superstars — is a great place to start!

Source: AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer | http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/