Fight the Good Fight
Top 5 Foods which prevent Cancer
Food and cancer prevention can seem like a loaded topic, however, when you break the science down you learn that some of the most common foods contain the most cancer fighting properties. Choosing foods that support your overall health as well as help your body build a strong defence against cancer cells doesn’t have to be about eating the trendiest superfoods. It can come down to nutritious food staples that you can find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. There are many more than just these five foods that should become part of your dietary repertoire, but this list provides you with a great place to start.
1. APPLES ARE RICH IN COMPOUNDS called polyphenols, the largest class of phytochemicals found in nature. The polyphenols in apples can be divided into a couple of subdivisions, each with a unique set of cancer prevention capabilities (for example: reducing blood flow to tumour growth).
Eat a variety of apples to reap the benefits of the different nutritional components. Make sure to eat the skin to get the strongest dose of anticancer compounds. Choose organic whenever possible.
2. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES (e.g. broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, radish, cabbage, collard greens, bok choy, watercress). Studies show that cruciferous vegetables probably contain the largest variety of phytochemical compounds with anticancer activity and are the most responsible for anticancer properties associated with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Good thing there are so many different cruciferous veggies to choose from!
3. GARLIC is essential for dietary based chemopreventative strategies. The principal phytochemicals in garlic inhibit the enzymes responsible for activating carcinogens while at the same time stimulating enzymes responsible for the elimination of carcinogens.
As a result, cells become less exposed to carcinogens and less susceptible to DNA damage leading to cancer. Eating raw garlic is ideal (eg. in salad dressings, salsa, dips and pestos). Alternatively, crushing the garlic and letting it rest for 10 minutes before cooking will allow the allicin (another phytochemical found in garlic) known for its many health benefits to develop.
4. TOMATOES Lycopene is a carotenoid abundant in tomatoes which, of all carotenoids, is said to have the greatest cancer prevention potential.
Cooked tomatoes have a higher lycopene content than raw tomatoes, and is more easily absorbed due to the rupture of the cell walls during cooking and the exposure to heat which allows the lycopene to be more easily absorbed. To boost absorption even more, eat tomato-based products with a healthy fat, such as olive oil.
5. CITRUS FRUITS contain high levels of flavanoids, which have been shown to interfere with tumour spread and growth. Choose from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, pomelos, etc. Include some of the skin (zest) whenever you can, as a lot of the cancer preventing compounds are found in the peel. Studies that have observed the dietary habits of large populations have found reduced incidents of lung and colorectal cancer among people who eat citrus fruit on a regular basis.