In today’s world, the biggest enemy of the human kind is cancer. We dread the word and hope it does not affect anyone, but while we are doing that – we can also try to prevent it.
Since all good things come from nature, we have decided to ask the scientists what are the best things that can help us in cancer prevention, and their response was – to change the diet. Obvious, isn’t it?
So, this is what you should have on your menu and in your fridge every day if you want to fight cancer and win the war.
Plant-based diet is the key
Nutrition and cancer-related studies all indicate that if you want to reduce the risk of cancer successfully, your diet should be plant-based. This means eating fruit and vegetables as much as you can.
The ‘main’ cancer-fighting ingredient some types of food have are phytonutrients. According to WebMD, they are practically the main reason why we are alive, not because of the vitamins and minerals.
Nuts, beans, whole grains and tea contain a lot of phytonutrients, but the following list of fruit and veggies is called “the cancer-fighting superfood” since they all contain phytonutrients in great amounts and thus prevent cancer.
- Berries – even though all berries contain phytonutrients, black raspberries contain the biggest amount of anthocyanins, a type of phytochemicals which are famous for slowing down the growth of premalignant cells.
- Carrots – along with kale, apricots, pumpkins and peppers, carrots are packed with carotenoids, a group of antioxidants, and pectins, healthy gut bacteria which help us digest food and prevent, for example, rectal cancer. However, if you eat or drink too much of these foods, you might get a little orange, so it would be best if you did not exaggerate in carotenoid use.
- Cruciferous vegetables – also known as “green veggies”, that is cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, garden cress, bok choy, etc. are well-known for their cancer-fighting and alkalising properties (this means that they make your body less acidic and more alkalising, thus improving the immune system and preventing metastases). The champion of cruciferous veggies is definitely broccoli. Broccoli contains a significant amount of sulforaphane, an ingredient which was found to have the potential effect on mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. What is curious about this plant is that it produces glucoraphanin, another powerful ingredient with antibiotic potentials, only upon damage – while chewing or cutting it. So make sure to chew and cut your raw broccoli and Brussels sprouts, without cooking it.
- Garlic – even though many people get the chills when they hear this word (especially in the young age) due to its special odour, garlic is, in fact, one of the strongest cancer-fighting plants. It contains allicin, an active ingredient which seems to stop the spread of cancer by stopping the blood supply in tumours, as well as selenium and sulphur-based agents which attack cancer cells. Besides this wonderful feature, it also kills yeast and microbes due to its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effect, so the recommendation is to eat it as much as you can (and as much as your partner allows you to).
- Nuts – according to the scientists, we should be nuts about nuts. Walnuts, for example, contain phytosterols, a kind of plant cholesterol-like molecules, which block oestrogen receptors in breast cancer cells and slow their growth down. Brazil nuts contain selenium, a very powerful anti-cancer agent also found in broccoli, tomatoes, tuna and onions.
- Tea – many people enjoy sipping tea, especially in the winter months since it brings additional warmth to our bodies. But what they probably do not know about tea is that it contains flavonoids, such as kaempferol, an ingredient with antioxidant effects which has shown to have protective effects against cancer. Besides green and black tea, hibiscus tea has also showed potential in reducing blood pressure and chamomile tea in knocking out melanoma, cervical cancer cells and chronic leukaemia (but it also wiped out healthy blood cells as well). Additionally, if you want to clean your body from toxins, you can also try detox tea and help your body start working like clockwork.
- Tomatoes – rich in carotenoids and lycopene, a strong antioxidant ingredient which lowers the risk of prostate cancer (found in cooked tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, carrots and peaches) by reducing bad fat levels in your blood.
Remember that the key to fighting cancer before it even appears is good nutrition rich in phytochemicals which fruit and vegetables contain in great amounts. Now that you have the knowledge of this crucial weapon in the war against cancer – use it wisely and share the good word.
And of course, if you have any questions or anything to add, please write to us in the comments section below.