Cancer is a disease that can strike anyone at any time. As many as 8.2 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year. Although there’s no full proof way to guarantee that the disease doesn’t develop, there are ways that you can reduce the chances of having cancer.
Scientific studies generally agree that a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent cancer. This means exercising regularly, staying away from cigarettes and alcohol and eating healthier foods. If you want to start on a diet that helps prevent cancer, these are the foods you should start incorporating into your diet:
1.Leafy Green Vegetables
One of the causes of cancer is free radicals, basically unpaired atoms that start a chain of reactions. These reactions are bad for our cells and can cause them to mutate, growing out of control. These out of control cells are what we call cancer cells.
Leafy greens are rich in anti-oxidants, which can stop the effects of free radicals. Some of the leafy greens that have a high anti-oxidant level include kale, collard greens, spinach and watercress. In addition to anti-oxidants, these leafy greens are also rich in Vitamin C and glucosinolates which are able to program cancer cells to die a natural death.
2. Cruciform Vegetables
Cruciform vegetables include vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbages and Brussel Sprouts. Cruciform vegetables are some of the most effective cancer fighters. This is because they’re rich in anti-oxidants called gluthathione and isothiocyanates. Both of these are some of the strongest anti-oxidants around and they’re able to stimulate enzymes that protect the DNA from mutations.
3. Raw Garlic
Garlic has an anti-oxidant called allicin, which is also found in onions, leeks, spring onions, shallots and other pungent root vegetables. The way to ensure that your intake of allicin is maximized is to consume garlic raw. You can add chopped garlic to salads or as toppings to your pasta.
In addition to preventing cancer, garlic can also help control blood pressure, lower cholesterol and boost you immune system which are all essential for good health.
4. Green Tea
Green Tea’s anti-oxidant value has been proven repeatedly in various studies, and has been credited for lowering the number of cancer cases in certain cultures that consume it regularly, like Japan. Doctors recommend drinking at least one cup of green tea a day to keep the cancer away.
In addition to just drinking it as a tea, the Japanese have incorporated Green Tea powder into many other foods like cake, ice cream, mochi and more. As long as real green tea powder is used and not a flavoring, you’ll be able to reap its benefits.
5. Citrus Fruits
Lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits are just some of the citrus fruits you should have at least four to five times a week. These fruits have a high concentration of Vitamin C that play an important part in the maintenance of your immune system.
A strong immune system is essential in nipping any cancer cells in the bud before they have a chance to proliferate. Drinking the juice of these citrus fruits is also another way to get those Vitamins and anti-oxidant into your system.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are all effective in preventing cancer. However, black raspberries has the highest levels of a biochemical called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are effective in preventing the growth of pre-cancerous cells as they keep new blood capillaries from forming.
Add berries to your breakfast cereals, yogurts or muesli. Berries and other fruits and vegetables are best eaten raw in order to preserve their anti-cancer phytochemicals.
Turmeric is a yellow spice that’s often found in a powdered form. It’s used most commonly in India, the Middle East and South East Asia as a spice in curries and gravies. Turmeric has a component called curcumin that has been isolated and tested many times in the lab against cancel cells.
Curcumin has been shown to effectively reduce the size of tumours, especially colon and breast cancers. Turmeric can be taken as a tonic together with black pepper while mixed with water, or eaten as a spice in vegetable and meat curries.
Aside from Turmeric, other herbs and spices that have anti-cancer properties include thyme, oregano, basil, parsley and cayenne pepper.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an anti cancer biomolecule that has been proven to be effective against endometrial cancer cells. Unlike other types of anti-cancer foods, cooking actually brings out more lycopene and increases the amount of lycopene available to the body.
Cooked tomatoes are therefore better for consumption that raw ones, so stewing them and turning them into pasta sauce is actually the best way to enjoy tomatoes.
In addition to these anti-cancer foods, there are certain types of foods that you should avoid. There is mounting evidence that these foods contain carcinogens, which cause cells to mutate and grow into cancerous tumors.
Hams, sausages, hot dogs, luncheon meats, canned meats and more are not to be consumed in high amounts. If you should eat them, do so in controlled amounts of not more than 2-3 servings per week.
French Fries/Potato Chips
When potatoes are cooked at high temperatures, such as deep friend in oil, they develop a chemical called acrylamide which is also found in cigarette smoke and building materials. Our livers can break acrylamides down but too much and the acrylamide escapes to other parts of the body and can cause normal cells to become cancerous.
Refined Sugar and White Flour
Any type of heavily processed and bleached foods should not be taken in high quantities. This is because processed foods may contain traces of the chemicals used on them. Some of these chemicals are carcinogenic in nature so minimizing them is crucial.
Our health may be extremely good when we’re young but as we grow older, our immune systems don’t function as well as they should. Therefore watching what you eat is important, no matter what stage of life you’re in.