When it comes to cancer prevention, diet is your first line of defense. By including the following foods into your diet on a regular basis you will be creating a foundation of health that will protect you from various types of cancers. As much as possible, consume organic produce and fresh fish that has been wild-caught. By doing so you will be reducing your exposure to further toxins that can burden your liver.

The best part is that all of these foods can easily be added to your diet and turned into a delicious meal or snack! 

Cruciferous Vegetables

cruciferous vegetable

Cruciferous vegetables are known to contain potent cancer-fighting properties. They are high in vitamin C, a powerful immune system booster and high in glutathione— the body’s “master antioxidant” —that is responsible for fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative stress.

Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of isothiocyanates, a type of phytochemical that has been well researched for its cancer prevention properties.[1]

Sulforaphane is another powerful phytochemical found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables. This potent plant compound increases the body’s production of enzymes that protect us from cancer and it helps to clear out cancer-causing chemicals from our system. Broccoli in particular contains very high amounts of sulforaphane while broccoli sprouts offer a concentrated source of this cancer-fighting compound.

Berries

berries2

Berries are rich in antioxidants that fight disease and prevent cell damage. The polyphenols found in berries promote the death of cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth. [2] Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries contain a large number of polyphenols.

Two polyphenols in particular, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins, are potent compounds that can help to protect against cancer and are found in high amounts in cranberries and blueberries.

Don’t forget superfood berries like camu camu and goji berries that have long been used for their health promoting properties and ability to enhance the immune system.

Turmeric

turmeric

This anti-inflammatory spice has been used in Indian cuisine, Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Thanks to its powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties turmeric has been well researched as a natural anti-cancer agent.

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been shown to have anticancer properties. As explained by Cancer Research UK:

A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.

Research shows that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100mg to 200mg a day over long periods of time.[3]

Curcumin supplements are readily available and often include ingredients like black pepper that enhance its bioavailability.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Some great examples of nutritious greens are rocket, kale, watercress, spinach and collard greens. They are high in chlorophyll and fiber which support our body’s own detoxification processes. Antioxidants prevent cell damage and carotenoids present in leafy greens, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, have a protective effect against cancer. [4]

Wild-caught Oily Fish 

Wild-caught fish, unlike farmed fish, is free from toxins and chemicals often found in fish feed. Higher fat fish or oily fish — such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring — are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been well researched for their ability to reduce inflammation in the body, protect from heart disease and they are linked to a reduced risk of cancer. [5] Two excellent examples of oily fish that are high in omega-3s and low in toxins are wild-caught Alaskan salmon and sardines.

Orange and Yellow Foods

The bright pigments found in orange and yellow foods are carotenoids, which act as antioxidants that protect our body from disease. Beta-carotene is the most well-known carotenoid, it boosts our immune system, supports liver detoxification and promotes skin and eye health. The abundance of various types of carotenoids present in bright orange and yellow foods are now being researched for their anti-cancer effects.[6]

Cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple and tangerines are just some examples that you can include into your diet on a regular basis.

Cooked tomatoes

When cooked, tomatoes become a concentrated source of the phytochemical lycopene. A powerful antioxidant, lycopene has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, in particular prostate cancer.[7] Studies on lycopene are still being conducted to further investigate the exact mechanisms of how it protects from cancer. However, researchers indicate that it is able to protect our cells from damage and prohibit the growth of tumours.

By gently cooking tomatoes, the plant’s cell walls are broken down and lycopene becomes readily available to our body.

We hope you enjoy including as many as these foods as you can into your diet. By eating the rainbow and including wild-caught oily fish into your diet on a regular basis, you will be laying the foundation for optimal health.

  

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737735/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383353/

[3] http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11237205

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4418048/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11237205

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4616444/

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