Take the first steps towards overall improved health and cancer prevention by making good choices at the grocery store. Although this alone isn’t a magic bullet, it may help.
While there is no consensus yet of what exact foods a cancer-prevention diet should include, diets with whole grains, fiber and fruits and vegetables have been linked to reduce risk.
Adding some of these food choices to your daily diet can help prevent cancer and help keep other diseases at bay.
10 Cancer-Fighting Foods to Add to Your Shopping List
- Broccoli has acquired the most attention as a breast cancer prevention food, and research has shown it blocks tumor growth, preventing the further spread of cancer if it does occur. This anti-cancer benefit can also be gained from eating other cruciferous veggies — including cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale — but you most likely need to eat one or more of these vegetables every day, she advises.
- Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by as much as a factor of 12.
- Blueberries rank number one in terms of their antioxidant power. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are unstable compounds that can damage cells and lead to diseases including cancer.
- Salmon taking fish-oil supplements for at least 10 years can shrink your risk of ductal carcinoma- the most common type of breast cancer, according to a study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. It’s thought that the omega-3 fats in fish oil reduce inflammation, which may contribute to breast cancer.
- Artichokes are a great source of silymarin, an antioxidant that may help prevent skin cancer.
- Fiber, both soluble and insoluble reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially for women consuming upwards of 30 grams a day. How? Insoluble fiber sticks to free estrogens in the gut, and sweeps them out. In fact, fiber may also ensure that less estrogen is free in the first place. When less estrogen is absorbed, you end up exposed to lower amounts of the hormone, which in turn lowers your risk of breast cancer. Whether you’re trying to shed pounds or fight cancer, you need 35 grams of fiber each day.
- Sprouted Green Lentils out of all beans, have the highest amount of folate. With a 5-minute prep time, it’s fast food at its best! Cook 1 cup of lentils in 3 cups boiling water or broth for 5 minutes. The fact that it’s sprouted makes the nutrients easier to absorb by the body, so you can bypass any gas and discomfort
- Apples “an apple a day really might keep the doctor away.” There may be something to this old saying, but there’s a catch. If you normally peel your apple and toss away the colorful wrapping, you’re also tossing away a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and other compounds needed for anti-cancer nutrition. Lab studies suggest that apple peel can actually fight the spread of cancer cells.
- Walnuts contain many nutrients and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which may help your body fight inflammation. Research also suggests that walnuts may actually slow the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice, so this nut could be a helpful addition to your meals.
- Flaxseeds, shopping for healthy fats will inevitably lead you to flaxseed oil, but this is an instance when your best anti-cancer nutrition choice is the seed itself, ground into a flour-like dust.