Healthy Eating LifeStyle

Cancer Fighting Foods

Posted on: February 18, 2013

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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently approved the statement “Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and chronic diseases.” And, while it is true that all plant foods provide vitamins, minerals, and enzymes important for good health, a few stand ahead of the pack for their cancer-fighting abilities.

Here are the top 10 anti-cancer foods:

1. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a plant chemical that has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Tomato products, such as spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup are particularly concentrated sources.

2. Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts are an excellent source of sulforaphane, a plant chemical that may reduce the risk of stomach, breast, and skin cancer. While broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are also great sources of sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts are especially potent.

3. Berries
Berries get their rich color from plant chemicals called anthocyanins. These compounds are potent antioxidants, and protect against a variety of cancers including colon and esophageal.
For more information on the health benefits of berries see the following articles from TheDietChannel: Why You Should Be Eating Berries and The Goji Berry and Goji Juice.

4. Soybeans
Isoflavones present in soybeans and other soy foods (such as tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk) help to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer by protecting cells from the harmful effects of estrogen.

5. Tea
Green and black teas are natural sources of catechins, potent antioxidants that act as powerful inhibitors of cancer growth, and may reduce the risk of liver, skin, and stomach cancer. The NCI is currently studying green and black teas for their cancer fighting abilities.

6. Pumpkin
Pumpkin, along with carrots, squash, red and yellow peppers, and sweet potatoes, are excellent sources of beta carotene. Eaten regularly, these powerhouses help reduce the risk of many types of cancer through their potent antioxidant capacity.

7. Spinach
Spinach is known as the “gold standard” of green leafy vegetables. Packed with lutein and vitamin E, both powerful antioxidants, spinach helps ward off cancer of the liver, ovaries, colon, and prostate.

8. Garlic
Garlic has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer of the stomach, esophagus, and breast. Mince garlic 10 minutes before cooking to increase its cancer fighting potential.

9. Pineapple
Pineapple is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C. In addition, it contains the enzyme bromelain, which may protect against breast and lung cancer.

10. Apple
In addition to their antioxidant benefits, apples contain the plant chemical quercetin, which has been shown to reduce lung cancer risk and slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Each of these foods has been shown to impact cancer risk on their own. However, countless studies indicate a synergistic effect when eaten together, meaning that plant chemicals work together to produce a greater effect than if they were working alone. The best anti-cancer diet is rich in brightly colored fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with an emphasis on the foods highlighted above.

Sample Cancer Fighting diet

Follow this sample menu to incorporate the top 10 anti-cancer foods into your diet:

Breakfast
Yogurt smoothie with mixed berries and soy milk

Morning Snack
Apple with peanut butter
Green tea

Lunch
Spinach wrap with mandarin oranges and broccoli sprouts
Cottage cheese and pineapple
Tomato juice

Dinner
Baked wild salmon with caramelized onions and garlic
Stewed tomatoes
Pumpkin soup or baked sweet potato
Black tea

Published by The Diet Channel. Read for more good healthy eating tips.

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