Cancer Fighting Foods:
How can food fight cancer, you ask? In many, many ways! Certain healthy foods can lower your risk for cancer by repairing damaged cells and protect sensitive skin. Incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet is a relatively small lifestyle change that can really reduce your cancer risk.
Oranges are high in folate, and recent research suggests that people with low levels of folate are more likely have mutations occur in their DNA, which can lead to mutated cancer cells. Leafy greens, like spinach and Brussels sprouts, are also high in folate. In recent research, men who consumed their daily suggested intake of folate were able to decrease their risk for pancreatic cancer by 50-percent.
We’ve all heard that calcium is important for healthy bones, but milk is also high in vitamin D, another nutrient that is linked to combating cancer—researchers suggest that vitamin D helps stop the growth of cancerous cells. In fact, it has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer.
The more you eat, the more you—well, the more you decrease your risk for cancer. Beans, in addition to being high in protein and fiber (great for vegetarian diet), are also high in antioxidants that are key in the fight against cancer. Antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals—free radicals, which can come from activities like smoking, cause damage to cells, leading to cancer and other complications.
Other foods that are high in antioxidants: Berries, cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli and cabbage), potatoes and nuts. A good general rule of thumb is to eat fruits and veggies that have a lot of color to them, as they usually contain the highest amount antioxidants.
Your mom was right—you really should eat up all of your leafy greens . Leafy greens (like spinach and kale) contain a substance called chlorophyllin, which can help fight cancer—it works by blocking toxins. People who consume more leafy greens show lower rates of stomach cancer.
And A Glass of Wine!
Grapes and wine contain resveratrol, which is another substance that slows the growth of cancerous cells. It does so by limiting growth and acts as a catalyst for apoptosis (a cancer cell death). In addition to it’s anti-carcinogenic properties, it also helps prevent Alzheimer’s and diabetes. More importantly (ha-ha), it’s also been linked to anti-aging properties: it helps stimulate the production of SIRT1, a serum that helps slow the aging process.
So, there you have it; your first steps to prevent cancer (along with SPF and quitting smoking) are right here. A healthier diet with more fruits and veggies will do more than lower your risk of cancer; it will change your quality of life. And, if eating healthy is not your thing, start with small changes, and build from there!
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer from Los Angeles whose writing covers a range of health topics, including holistic alternatives, healthy cooking and personal fitness. She not only includes these cancer-fighting foods into her diet, but she enjoys them as well!