10 Best Foods to Fight Cancer
A 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 we eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and limit fatty or fried foods intake to stay at a healthy weight. Many studies suggest that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly reduce the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.
In addition, researchers noted that certain foods may be particularly useful in protecting the body against cancer. Here are some of the best foods that you can eat to fight cancer:
1. 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 which damage your cells. They may also help inhibit the growth of tumors and kill cancer cells.
2. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, contain D-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 free radicals.
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, is also known to inhibit tumor growth. 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%.
4. Green Tea
Both green tea and black tea contain certain antioxidants known as polyphenols (catechins) which may protect against cancer. But, green tea has more (about three times) quantity of catechins than 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.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which may help reduce a wide range of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach 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.
All berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients, but blackberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which can slow down the growth of cancer cells and stimulate cancer cells to self-destruct.
7. 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.
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.
Mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant 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.
10. 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.