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Best Cancer Fighting Foods: Which Foods Should You Eat More Of?

Best Cancer Fighting Foods: Which Foods Should You Eat More Of?

The food that you eat plays a big role when it comes to your overall health. While it is true that food can’t prevent cancer, eating the best cancer fighting foods can help lower your risk.

What are the best cancer fighting foods?

When it comes to foods that can fight cancer, you’ve probably heard the word “phytochemical” being thrown around. Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients, are compounds found in plants that are believed to ward off cancer1.

This is the reason why all of the foods on this list are plant-based, since plant-based foods contain a lot of nutrients and compounds that keep you healthy.

While it’s true that eating these foods is good for you, it’s still important to eat them in moderation. Eating too much food, even if they’re healthy, can lead to weight gain and other problems. So aside from eating the right foods be sure to follow the right portion sizes for each meal.

Here are some of the best cancer fighting foods that you can eat:

1. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are one of the best cancer fighting foods out there. These vegetables include broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, and many others.

In particular, researchers have found that broccoli contains sulforaphane, which is a compound that could help prevent prostate cancer. In addition, cruciferous vegetables contain fiber, which has some evidence linking it to a reduced risk for colon cancer2.

Aside from these benefits, cruciferous vegetables also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. So it’s always a good idea to incorporate some of these vegetables in your meals.

2. Carrots

Carrots are well-known for helping improve a person’s vision. But did you know that carrots are also among the best cancer fighting foods?

Studies have found a link between beta-carotene, which is a pigment found in carrots, and a lower risk of prostate and breast cancer. In addition, carrots have also been linked to a lower risk for mouth, lung, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer3.

These benefits make carrots a great addition to your diet if you want to improve your health.

3. Berries

Berries, such as blueberries, cherries, and cranberries, are a healthy snack. They are low in sugar and contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Aside from this, berries are also one of the best cancer fighting foods. In particular, berries contain ellagic acid, which has been found to neutralize carcinogens. Aside from ellagic acid, berries also contain an antioxidant known as pterostilbene. Research done on this antioxidant found that it helped suppress breast, cervical, lung, and colon cancer.

4. Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic are widely used in the Philippines, and most of the dishes that we eat contain these vegetables. Aside from being a staple in the kitchen, onions and garlic are also some of the best cancer fighting foods.

According to the National Cancer Institute in the US, onions and garlic can help lower the risk of esophageal, breast, stomach, and colon cancer. This is attributed to their anti-inflammatory properties and sulfur-containing compounds that have been found to block carcinogens4.

5. Walnuts and other nuts

Walnuts are another great addition to your diet if you want to lower your risk of cancer. This is because walnuts contain a type of phytochemical called polyphenol which has antioxidant properties. Aside from this, walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation.

Other nuts, such as cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans, are also rich in polyphenol as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

Eating nuts are a much better alternative to eating chips, since they contain a lot of healthy compounds, and don’t have the added salt, fat, and other preservatives found in chips.

Key Takeaways

While eating healthy foods can’t completely prevent cancer, eating healthy foods can help lower your overall risk. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you’re also improving your overall health, which can reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

Learn more about Special Diets here.

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Sources
  1. 36 foods that can help lower your cancer risk | MD Anderson Cancer Center, https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/36-foods-that-can-help-lower-your-cancer-risk.h12-1592991.html, Accessed June 9, 2021
  2. Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables: Reduce Overall Cancer Risk – American Institute for Cancer Research, https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/food-facts/broccoli-cruciferous-vegetables/, Accessed June 9, 2021
  3. Cancer Fighting Foods: Carrots – NFCR, https://www.nfcr.org/blog/cancer-fighting-foods-carrots-2021/, Accessed June 9, 2021
  4. 7 foods to fight cancer, heart disease and enhance health | LLUH News, https://news.llu.edu/patient-care/7-foods-fight-cancer-heart-disease-and-enhance-health, Accessed June 9, 2021
  5. Can Food Fight Cancer? | Northwestern Medicine, https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/cancer-fighting-foods, Accessed June 9, 2021
  6. Cancer Fighting Recipes – Cancer Nutrition | Stanford Health Care, https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/cancer-nutrition-services/recipes.html, Accessed June 9, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 10
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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