About 35 percent of cancers are related to nutritional factors. For cancer prevention, eat foods that are rich in nutrients to help protect your body’s cells from damage, such as these.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is found in many fruits and vegetables like grapefruit, oranges, bell peppers, and broccoli. Vitamin C helps prevent the formation of nitrogen compounds that causes cancer. There have been links of risk reduction of cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, bladder, breast, and cervix to those whose diets are rich in vitamin C. These results are particular to vitamin C-rich foods, instead of supplements, which seems to be less reliable. Therefore, eat lots of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, they are great for your body in many ways.
Peanuts and peanut butter
Some study shows that eating vitamin E–rich foods can help reduce the risk of stomach, colon, lung, liver, and other cancers. Same with other antioxidants, vitamin E supplements aren’t as reliable. I recommend adding in vitamin E–rich foods like peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, almond butter, and sunflower seeds to your diet. They will help keep your cells strong. Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter on a slice of whole grain toast for a filling snack packed with cancer-fighting vitamin E.
Berries are among the top ranked foods that most likely reduce the risk for cancer. As years pass, we learn more and more about the benefits of these nutrition powerhouse fruits. In particular, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries have been shown to have the potential to help prevent cancer. Antioxidants that are naturally found in blueberries, have cancer-fighting properties. Cranberries are also packed with lots of cancer-fighting natural chemicals. Laboratory animals that were fed with black raspberries had a 60 percent reduction in tumors of the esophagus and an 80 percent reduction in colon tumors. Next time you want a sweet treat, skip the biscuits and feast on juicy, delicious berries that can boost your health. Think of getting a sweet treat? Choose those juicy, delicious berries that can boost your health and enjoy.
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. Studies shows that those whose diet are rich in beta-carotene which is found primarily orange and green leafy vegetables, have a reduce risk of cancer, specifically of the lung, colon and stomach. A study also found that for premenopausal women, eating lots of vegetables that that include beta-carotene, folate, vitamin C, and fiber, like sweet potatoes reduces the risk of breast cancer by about a half.
Having low vitamin D levels have been linked to several cancers, including breast and colon. Scientists believe that vitamin D can help block the development of blood vessels that feed growing tumors and help stop the propagation of cancerous and precancerous cells. I recommend eating plenty of vitamin D rich foods, such as wild salmon, and choosing vitamin D fortified dairy products, like milk and yogurt. Since only few foods provide vitamin D, you should consider taking a daily multivitamin or separate supplement that provides at least 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent cancer by preventing cancer cell propagation and disturbing the steps that are critical to tumor development. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation, which means that theoretically it can lessen possibility of cellular mutations. Nonetheless, even if omega-3s don’t directly reduce the risk of cancer, they definitely help keep our bodies strong and healthy. For all of these reasons, I greatly recommend adding omega-3 rich foods to your diet. You can also mix in some ground flaxseed into your yogurt and smoothies which is an excellent way to take in more omega-3s in your diet.
Turmeric is the yellow-coloured spice found in curry powder. An active ingredient found in turmeric is curcumin. It functions as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, and may help prevent cancer by interfering with aspects of cellular signaling. Curcumin has been shown to help prevent cancer of the breast, colon, stomach, liver, and lung, in the test done on laboratory animals. Using curry powder to spice up chicken and egg dishes is an easy way to add it into your diet and as an extra bonus of it adds flavor to your meals.
Tea contains compounds called catechins. A compound that scientists believe may help stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent cellular mutations that contribute to cancer development. In Japan, where tea is a preferred beverage, green tea consumption has been linked to reduced risk of stomach cancer among women. In China, green tea drinkers were found to have a lower risk of developing rectal and pancreatic cancers compared with non-tea drinkers. It has also been shown that those who drink tea regularly have reduced risk for cancer of the colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, and lungs. It seems that all types of tea, green, black, white, oolong, are valued to have cancer preventive agents. Therefore, you should regularly drink and enjoy tea in a variety of flavors to gain all the benefits.
All plant foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables, contain small amounts of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemical compounds that are just as important as vitamins and minerals are for maintaining health. There are thousands of known phytonutrients, many of which have verified the possibility of protecting us from cancer. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage contain phytonutrients, which can help prevent the metabolism of some carcinogens and promote the production of detoxification enzymes in the body.
Pomegranates can prevent cancer cell growth and deactivate cancer causing compounds based on the studies done in the laboratory animals. Hence, include pomegranate seeds into smoothies or use them as toppings for your bowl of yogurt or cereal and enjoy the health benefits it offers. Other fruits that contain high levels of ellagic acid are blackberries, cranberries, pecans, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts and grapes.
Erika Doolan | Nutritionist | Rustic Stone