Cancer is a scary disease. Basically, something causes cells within your body to grow abnormally. There are known causes for cancer – viruses, smoking, chemicals (like asbestos), sunburns, and drinking alcohol.
Foods contain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that fight cancer. Eating these daily may protect you from cancer. If you are overweight, your cancer risk is increased. Losing weight through good nutrition will protect you as well.
Instead of one food in each group, we’ll look at the compounds. If you don’t like one food, there are others in that group. Many foods show up in different groups, so you can make every calorie count.
Garlic is one of the best sources of allium. Allium has anti-tumor and antimicrobial effects and helps prevent cardio-vascular disease. Garlic also kills H. pylori, bacteria associated with stomach cancer. Garlic may reduce the risk of colon, esophageal, pancreatic and breast cancers.
For best results, peel and chop a clove and let it sit 15 minutes. Use it to cook with or swallow with water.
Garlic is the most studied allium, but other in the family include chives, scallions, leeks, and onions.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, cauliflower and broccoli contain glucosinolates. These activate enzymes, like sulforaphane, as they pass through the intestines. Sulforaphane fight H. pylori and detoxifies environmental pollutants.
Cruciferous veggies, especially broccoli, reduce risk of prostate, lung, colon, breast, bladder, liver, neck, head, mouth, esophagus, and stomach cancer.
For best results, steam broccoli and add your daily garlic clove and olive oil. It is not only healthy for weight loss, but it is a tasty way to fight many cancers.
Lycopene is a carotene that has a bright red color. Lycopene appears to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It’s also stopped breast, lung, and endometrial cancer cell growth in laboratory tests.
Tomatoes are a fantastic source of lycopene and cooking or processing them makes the lycopene even more available to your body. Add some tomatoes to your broccoli and garlic!
Other sources include guavas, watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, cooked red bell peppers, cooked asparagus, red cabbage, mangos and cooked carrots.
4. Ellagic acid
Ellagic acid is a polyphenol with antioxidant properties. Plants produce ellagic acid as a defense against infection. Ellagic acid appears most effective fighting skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast cancers.
Choose strawberries, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, pomegranate, guava, pecans, and walnuts. Many of these include vitamin C, which only adds to the protective qualities. Remember that nuts are good for you in small amounts. They are high in calories and easy to overeat. Too many nuts won’t help you lose weight.
Another carotene that you need to fight cancer is beta-carotene. You probably know it best as carrots, but any red, yellow or orange fruit or vegetable contains beta-carotene. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene protects cell membranes and slows cancer cell growth.
Beta-carotene may protect against cervical, breast, mouth, pharynx and larynx, esophagus, and stomach cancers. Eat foods like carrots, apricots, broccoli, asparagus, grapefruit, chives, kale, onions and sweet potatoes.
Steam carrots whole for a huge amount of beta-carotene.
Lutein, yet another carotene, is found in dark green leafy vegetables, most especially spinach. Lutein is important for vision, but may protect against esophageal, ovarian, endometrial, lung, and colorectal cancers.
These vegetables are high in fiber and contain folate, both of which are known to fight cancer.
Eat spinach raw or lightly cooked for best results. Other lutein rich foods include kale, squash, sweet corn, swiss chard, arugula, peas, egg yolks, and carrots.