Cancer rates in this country are declining, and numerous studies show that a healthy diet helps. On the way to Healthy Nutrition, here are 5 cancer-fighting foods to put on the shopping list:
- BERRIES: Blackberries, relatives of roses, may protect against colon , esophageal, liver, and lung cancers. Known for their high levels of antioxidants, blueberries contain anthocyanins and ellagic acid that help inhibit cancer. Popping up now in the produce section, cranberries fight breast cancer, colon, lung, and other forms of cancer. Raspberries are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and cancer-protective phytochemicals. Strawberries are nutritious superstars that may ward off estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Out of season, buy frozen berries to toss into smoothies for a power breakfast.
- BROCCOLI: Along with other cabbage family veggies it’s rich in antioxidants (especially vitamins A and C) and other cancer-fighting compounds. Raw broccoli sprouts and raw cruciferous vegetables appear particularly protective against bladder cancer. To cook, steam broccoli and cabbage, and season with lemon juice.
- GARLIC: Numerous studies attest to the cancer-preventive effects of this flavorful herb. Peeling, crushing, and cutting raw garlic activates its healing compounds; wait 15 minutes before cooking. And brown garlic gently as it burns easily.
- KIWI: Brown, round, and fuzzy like the famous New Zealand bird, kiwifruit has more antioxidant vitamin C than any other fruit, along with plenty of vitamin E, fiber, and lutein, a phytochemical that reduces the risk of cataracts, heart disease, and cancer. Eating a kiwi a day helps protect--and repair—DNA damage linked to cancer. Simply cut one in half and scoop out the fruit with a spoon.
- WALNUTS: Higher than any other nuts in omega-3 fats(an important part of the Mediterranean diet,) walnuts are a good source of B vitamins and minerals. They also contain melatonin, which prevents oxidative damage and aids in sound sleep, and high levels of a form of antioxidant vitamin E, which may protect against breast, colon, and prostate tumors. Snack on a handful or chop walnuts and add to muffins or pancakes.
101 Foods that Could Save Your life by David Grotto, RD, LDN * “Diet and Cancer in Mediterranean Countries” by C. Bosetti et al. Public Health Nutrition,09/09 * “Diet and Cancer Prevention: New Evidence for the Protective Effects of Fruits and Veggies,” Science Daily 12/07/07 * “The Effect of Strict Adherence to a High-Fiber, High-Fruit and Vegetable, and Low-Fat eating Pattern on Adenoma Recurrence” by L.B. Sansbury et al. Am J Epidemiology,9/1/09 * Roon Frost