11 cancer fighting foods

11 cancer fighting foods

Can what you eat help prevent cancer? Many researchers firmly believe so. The following are 11 foods known for their cancer-fighting properties to add to your diet.

Garlic

Widely known as the stinking rose, reportedly as far back as Greek and Roman times, garlic is now considered a superfood.

If you eat 6 cloves of garlic a week, you may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 30% and stomach cancer by 50%. Garlic is even said to slow the development of certain forms of cancer.

How to eat it?

  • Freshly crushed rather than in a supplement
  • Preferably raw instead of cooked

Artichokes (particularly Jerusalem artichokes)

Rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants and inulin, artichokes may reduce the risk of liver and colon cancer… while satisfying your hunger more quickly. So why do without?

How to eat them?

  • Fresh
  • Cooked (steamed or boiled rather than processed)
  • Stuffed
  • Fried in olive oil

Blueberries

A staple of the diet of many Native Americans, blueberries are the uncontested champion of anthocyanins, which give the fruit its blue colour. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries are believed to decrease the proliferation of cancerous cells and fight certain very aggressive forms of breast cancer.

How to eat them?

  • Wild berries instead of cultivated ones
  • Fresh or frozen
  • Added to yogurt, ice cream or smoothies and other desserts
  • In juice, but watch out for the sugar

Broccoli

It has been proven that eating broccoli 3 to 5 times a week protects the body against several forms of cancer including lung, ovarian, prostate, kidney, colorectal and breast cancer. A favourite of nutritionists, broccoli prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver, often associated with cancer.

How to eat it?

  • Fresh or frozen
  • Raw
  • Steamed or fried
  • Microwaving or oven roasting results in lost nutrients

Carrots

Often associated with healthy eyes, carrots also play a role in cancer prevention due to the carotenoids they contain. A study involving 120,000 women revealed that the risk of lung cancer may be considerably reduced when carrots were eaten 2 to 4 times a week. The risk decreases even more when carrots are eaten 5 times a week.

How to eat them?

  • Fresh or frozen
  • Raw
  • Steamed or fried
  • Fresh pressed juice
  • Microwaving or oven roasting results in lost nutrients

Lemons and limes

Not only are lemons and limes full of Vitamin C, they also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system. A cup and a half of green tea with lemon every day helps fight certain cancers.

How to eat them?

  • Freshly pressed juice
  • Zest
  • Dressings, marinades
  • In a smoothie to enhance the flavour of other fruit
  • In desserts, like lemon meringue pie

Mushrooms (particularly shitake)

Often the miracle ingredient of many medicines (think penicillin), mushrooms and their component AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) stimulate the immune system and decrease the risk of certain cancers. According to researchers, AHCC may help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

How to eat them?

  • Cultivated or wild (provided you know something about mycology)
  • Raw
  • Grilled or pan fried
  • In a salad

Turmeric

Also called yellow ginger, turmeric is a ginger-related root with many healthy properties. Curcumin (a powerful antioxidant), a substance in turmeric, plays a powerful role in the prevention and treatment of certain types of colon, breast, prostate, stomach, skin and lung cancers.

How to eat it?

  • In spice mixes, stir fries, curries, dressings, etc.

Olive oil

Try replacing butter with olive oil like they do in Mediterranean cuisines. In addition to lowering bad cholesterol in the blood, olive oil is known for killing off cancerous tumours and protecting normal cells. Why? Because of the large quantity of the oleocanthal molecule that olive oil contains.

How to eat it?

  • Virgin or extra virgin
  • Vinaigrette, mayonnaise, pesto, homemade marinades
  • Added to dishes
  • Cooking

Peaches and nectarines

Not only are they tasty but peaches and nectarines may reduce the risk of breast cancer by 40% thanks to the polyphenols they contain. The high levels of dietary fibre found in peaches and nectarines may also help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

How to eat them?

  • Fresh or frozen
  • Added to yogurt, ice cream or smoothies
  • Variety of deserts
  • In juice, but watch the sugar

Soya

Prostate cancer is far more common in Western countries than in Asian countries, where up to 5 times more soya is consumed. This phenomenon is explained by the presence of soya isoflavones, which may slow the growth of cancerous cells caused by excessive levels of certain hormones.

How to eat it?

  • Whole (e.g.: mature or dry)
  • In broth (e.g.: miso)
  • Tofu
  • In drinks for people who are lactose-intolerant
  • Isoflavone supplements aren’t known to be efficient

And a glass of red wine

Now that you’ve made some positive adjustments to your diet, it’s time to treat yourself with a glass of red wine.

Bacchus may have known all along that wine was good for the morale and the heart but did he know why? Resveratrol is the reason. A molecule that may slow the growth of cancerous cells, particularly in the breast, colon and oesophagus. As with everything else, moderation is best. The daily recommended intake is 1 to 2 glasses per day for men and 1 glass per day for women.

Variety is the spice of life!

Keep in mind that simply adding any of these food items to your menu is not going to ward off cancer. But there is no doubt that when it comes to diet, diversity and freshness are your best bets when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, and certainly enjoyable for the taste buds.