Scientists have discovered after decades of research is that there are certain behaviors, foods, and lifestyle choices we can make that either increase or decrease our odds of developing cancer. Nearly half of all cancer diagnoses are preventable, and can be avoided if we make sure not to smoke, get enough exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and eat right. Here are five of the top foods that science suggests can help you boost your chances of staying cancer-free.
Legumes like beans, lentils, and chickpeas are a great way to give your immune system a shot of zinc.
Zinc-rich items like hummus and beans feed us beneficial zinc finger proteins that are crucial for healthy DNA.
Iodine-rich foods like cheese help regulate our hormones, which is bad news for tumors.
Iodine is an essential mineral: The body uses it to make thyroid hormones, which help control our metabolism. Studies suggest that having too much or too little iodine in your system can play a role in-tumor growth. Good dietary sources of iodine include: cheese, yogurt, milk, certain fish like cod, tuna, and shrimp, as well as seaweed.
Nibbling just a few nuts a day can also help reduce your risk of cancer, especially if they’re the right kind.
A study of more than 75,000 women in the US found that those who said they consumed more than two ounces of nuts per week had a lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer than women who rarely (if ever) opted for nutty snacks. Some nuts appear to be more potent than others. Brazil nuts contain a hefty dose of selenium , an essential element for human health. The fatty South American tree seeds aren’t technically nuts at all (like almonds, they’re really seeds), but they still show promise in reducing people’s risk of cervical andprostate cancers. Eating just two Brazil “nuts” per day may be enough.
Like Brazil nuts, mushrooms are a good source of selenium.
The fungi have been safely and effectively used alongside radiation and chemotherapy for three decades in Japan and China. Scientists still want to know more about how mushrooms work in the body, but the evidence so far is compelling. Observational studies of Chinese people suggest that eating just one mushroom a day can help reduce a person’s breast cancer risk.
Turmeric is an essential curry ingredient used around the globe.
Doctors think the savory spice is one of the most excellent anti-cancer tools we can eat. “It’s probably, to the best of my knowledge, the most potent naturally occurring anti-inflammatory,” Ajay Goel, a biophysicist who researches cancer, recently told Business Insider . Goel’s studies in both animals and humans suggest that curcumin can help kill treatment-resistant cancer cells and may make some cancers less resistant to chemotherapy. Where Goel is from in India, turmeric is an essential part of almost everyone’s daily diet. “They don’t even recognize,” he said, “but it’s protecting them from a lot of disease.”
Allium vegetables like onions, shallots, leeks, and garlic do more than give us bad breath
People who eat lots of them reduce their risk of cancers of the gut. It’s tough to know exactly how much garlic and onions is the winning dose, because much of the research on their anti-cancer properties to date has been observational. Still, in studies conducted around the world, scientists consistently find a link between eating more garlic and onions and developing less gut cancers like colon cancer. Some of the most recent research on this effect came in a 2019 study of over 1,600 Chinese men and women . The results showed that those who ate the most allium blooms had 79% lower odds of developing colon cancer than people who rarely enjoyed these foods. [Culled from Business Insider USA].