There are known causes for some cancer (e.g. infections, radiation, smoking etc.) but the causes of some other cancer types are still unknown. For these cancers, however, some things may increase the possibility of developing cancer called Risk Factors. One of them is the type of food you eat or don’t eat.
No single food or food component may prevent or halt the progression of cancer by itself. However, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight is a key part of preventing some cancers. A diet filled with all the essential food types especially vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods helps lower your risk of developing many cancers. These food types contain many important minerals, vitamins and other chemicals that help prevent and/or fight cancers. Eating unhealthy meals increases the risk of developing cancer, including oesophageal, stomach and liver cancer.
7 examples of foods that can help fight cancer?
Research is ongoing on the benefits of these food items, their anti-cancer effects and how it helps your body deal with cancer. So far, the following food items have demonstrated positive results in research studies and are thought to reduce your overall risk of developing cancer if added to your diet.
- Apples: Several studies have shown that apples contain special compounds that may prevent inflammation and disease. These compounds are also thought to possess anticancer properties which helps reduce the growth of cancer cells while sparing normal cells. An apple a day is, after all, a great idea.
- Carrots: Carrots contain a large amount of beta-carotene which is responsible for its orange colour. It is thought that this chemical is helpful to the immune system and provides support in cancer prevention. Legumes, walnut, grapes, tomatoes and berries are also filled with nutrients and chemicals that are protective against cancer according to some studies.
- Green tea: This contains antioxidants and may reduce the chances of developing some cancers, including skin, breast and liver cancer.
- Soursop: This is a fruit common in the Caribbean, Africa and the Americas. It contains several essential vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin C. Also called Graviola or custard apple, it has been studied for the effects it has on cancer cancers.
- Garlic: This has been reported to help reduce cancer risk for a number of cancer types. Eating a clove every once in a while is thought to reduce one’s overall risk of developing cancer.
- Vegetable salad: Vegetable salad, especially those containing broccoli, cauliflower and kale contain several vitamins and minerals. They also contain a special chemical that may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and significantly improve your overall health. Leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce also contain beta-carotene and are very beneficial to your health and wellbeing.
- Fatty fish: These contain omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients thought to reduce the possibility of developing cancer, especially colon cancer. If you don’t already eat fish, include it in your diet.
Overall, while No single food item is able to prevent cancer on its own, a healthy diet that includes carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are important to your health. If you are already undergoing treatment, it will also help your body deal with the stress of treatment and make recovery less tasking.
Still, got questions or need further clarification? Please drop it in the comment box or chat with our oncologists and psychologists directly. We would love to hear from you.
Until the next episode. Remember the famous saying: “Our Food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food“.
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