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10 Best Foods to Eat for Fighting Cancer

Posted by on October 26, 2010

cancer fighting foodsA proper diet is really important for those who live with cancer. Eating the right type and amount of foods can help you fight cancer cells and live a healthy life.

The American Cancer Society recommends that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and limit fatty or fried foods intake to stay at a healthy weight.

In addition, researchers are finding that certain foods may be particularly useful in protecting you from cancer. Here are some best foods that you can eat to fight cancer:

Cruciferous vegetables

Most vegetables contain fiber and phytonutrients which are essential nutrient to help body fight cancer, but cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprout) may be particularly helpful in protecting you from cancer. Researchers have found that components in these veggies can fight free radicals that can damage your cells. They may also help inhibit the growth of tumors, and kill cancer cells.


All berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. But blackberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which slow down the growth of pre-cancer cells and keep new blood vessels from forming which potentially feeding a cancerous tumor.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a good source of vitamins, fiber, protein, and minerals. It is a gluten free grains that contain important phytonutrients like lignans which are converted into cancer protective substances. Brown rice is also beneficial in lowering insulin reactivity.

Eating brown rice may helps prevent constipation, unlike white rice which can cause constipation. Brown rice is considered as a main grain for most diets.

In addiction to brown rice, oats, wheat, wild rice, and corn are also good to consume for cancer patients.


Carrots contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which may help reduce a wide range of cancers including colon cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. A study found that eating a lot of vegetables that include beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber, like carrots, reduced the risk of breast cancer by about half.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons contain limonene, which can stimulate cancer-killing immune cells (lymphocytes) and help break down cancer-causing substances. These fruits are also rich in vitamin C – an anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals.


Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that help protect against free radicals, which lead to cancerous growth in the body. A number of studies have shown that high levels of lycopene could reduce the risk of breast, cervical, colorectal, pancreas, and prostate cancer.


Cremini, maitake and shitake mushrooms contain antioxidants such as L-ergothioneine that can help the body fight cancer. The mushrooms also contain a compound called lentinan, which may help extend the survival rate of cancer patients when used with chemotherapy.

A study published in Nutrition and Cancer in 2010 found that higher mushroom intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among women who are premenopausal.


Garlic contains a powerful plant phytonutrient called allicin that has been shown to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer causing substances. Diallyl sulfide, a natural compound found in garlic, has also been shown to render carcinogens in the liver inactive. Several studies have found that those who ate raw or cooked garlic regularly significantly decrease their risk of developing colon cancer and stomach cancer by up to 50%.

Green tea

Green tea and black tea contain certain antioxidants known as polyphenols (catechins) which may protect against cancer. But, green tea is best as it contains about three times the quantity of catechins found in black tea. According to a report in the July 2001 issue of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, these polyphenols may inhibit tumor growth and prevent cancer cells from dividing.

In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in breast, colon, liver, and prostate cells. Other studies involving green tea have shown similar protective effects in tissues of the lung, skin and digestive tract.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene which can block the growth of cancerous cells by boosting the immune system and releasing a chemical called tumor necrosis factor. It is also rich in polyphenols, a group of powerful antioxidants found in certain fruits and vegetables, that can help prevent cell damage.

Many studies suggest that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables (rich in polyphenols) significantly reduces the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.