No foods protect people against cancer completely. The term cancer-fighting foods we are using here refers to foods that may lower the risk of developing cancer if a person adds them to their diet. These foods contain natural compounds that have strong anticancer properties and benefits . In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a look at some of them.
Apples contain anticancer properties that may also help prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and infections.
The phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" actually rings fairly true. Apples contain polyphenols plant-based compound, may prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and infections,that have promising anticancer properties.
For example, science shows that the polyphenol phloretin inhibits a protein called glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) plays a role in advanced-stage cell growth in certain types of cancer.
One study from 2018 in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis suggests that apple phloretin significantly inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells, while not affecting normal cells.
Berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Scientists have shown a lot of interest in berries due to their antioxidant properties and potential health benefits.
One study shows that anthocyanin, which is a compound found in blackberries, lowers biomarkers for colon cancer. Another study demonstrates that the anti-inflammatory effects of blueberries can prevent the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice.
Cruciferous vegetables , such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, contain beneficial nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. These vegetables also contain sulforaphane, a plant compound with anticancer properties. Sulforaphane significantly inhibits cancer cell growth and stimulates cell death in colon cancer cells.
Another study shows that sulforaphane in combination with genistein, a compound in soybeans, can significantly inhibit breast cancer tumor development and size. Sulforaphane also inhibits histone deacetylase, an enzyme with links to cancer development.
Some recommend 3 to 5 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week for the best cancer-preventive effects.
Carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which may prevent certain types of cancer. It also contains several essential nutrients including vitamin K, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
Carrots have high amounts of beta-carotene, which is responsible for the distinct orange color. Recent studies reveals that beta-carotene plays a vital role in supporting the immune system and may prevent certain types of cancer. Beta-carotene has links to a reduction in the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
According to an analysis, higher consumption of carrots results in a 26 percent lower risk of developing stomach cancer.
5.Health benefits of oily fish
Fatty and oily fish such as salmon is beneficial for helping to protect the body from cancer. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and anchovies, are rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamin B, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
One study found that people whose diets were high in freshwater fish had a 53 percent lower risk for colorectal cancer than those low in freshwater fish.
Another study found that consumption of fish oil later in life has links to significantly lower risk for prostate cancer.
A study following 68,109 people found that people who consumed fish oil supplements at least four times a week were 63 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who did not.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, all nuts exhibit cancer-preventing properties, but scientists have studied walnuts more than other types of nuts.
Walnuts contain a substance called pedunculagin, which the body metabolizes into urolithins. Urolithins are compounds that bind to estrogen receptors and may play a role in preventing breast cancer.
In one animal study, mice receiving whole walnuts and walnut oil had higher levels of tumor-suppressing genes than the mice receiving vegetable oil.
Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are high in fiber, which may help lower a person's risk of developing cancer.
One study has also shown an association between higher legume consumption and lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Another study examines the relationship between the intake of bean fiber and risk of breast cancer. That results indicate that people who ate diets high in bean fiber were 20 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who did not meet their daily fiber intake.
8. Supplements and medications
Although the foods listed above are everyday products and readily available, some people may not want to make significant dietary or lifestyle changes. In this case, there are plenty of supplements and medications available that contain anticancer compounds.
Vitamins A, C, and E are notable for their anticancer properties and are available as supplements in most major grocery stores.
Most of the plant-based compounds listed throughout this blog such as phloretin, anthocyanin, and sulforaphane, do come in pill form.
Over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, may also lower the risk of cancer in some people.
Always speak to a medical professional before starting a new medication or supplement regimen.
It is important to remember and note that eating a balanced diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and good fats will benefit your overall health.