Your diet is a double-edged sword. It can keep you very healthy and prevent illnesses or can also worsen your health so much that you easily fall prey to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer.
Your diet is a “do or die” factor for your health. Now, it is in your hands to make it ‘do it’. But, unfortunately, much of what we eat is drawn from the foods high in saturated unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates, which are destructive and dangerous for your health and increase your risk of cancer.
Ditch these fat and carbs-laden foods and switch to the healthy anti-cancer superfoods mentioned below to protect your organs from any form of cancerous activity.
1. Go greens
“Go green” should be your mantra if you are looking for reducing your risk of cancer. It is not a mantra to promote the health of the environment, but to promote your own health. The raw, leafy greens are the nutrient-dense foods that contain substances, which can protect your vital organs and reduce your risk of cancer.
These veggies also protect your body’s cells and tissues from the potential damage by free radicals, and toxic additives in food, which can trigger alteration in their DNA structures and initiate mutation that can lead to cancer.
Hence, make sure you eat plenty of green vegetables, and reap the benefits of their anti-cancer properties while also basking in their rich nutrient content of proteins, and phytochemicals like folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium.
All types of berries, including blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are superfoods for preventing cancer. They are high in nutrients and low in sugar and provide the vitamins that can promote the health of normal cells. They can also prevent cell damage caused by high levels of blood sugar.
Berries are full of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which prevent the cancerous changes in the DNA of the normal cells. A regular consumption of berries can help prevent the breast, colon, rectum, pancreatic, and liver cancers.
Onion is one of the most potent natural anti-cancer foods. It plays a powerful role in fighting the cancerous changes occurring in the body and prevents progression of the disease.
It also has a favorable effect on the immune system and allows it to identify the abnormal cancer cells among the healthy cells. This can help the immune system to selectively aim its destructive action against the cancer cells thereby ensuring their rapid elimination.
Allium vegetables like onion contain organosulfur compounds that are released when these vegetables are chopped, chewed, or crushed. These compounds possess anti-carcinogenic properties, which help in reducing the risk of gastric, breast, and prostate cancers.
The organosulfur compounds work by detoxifying the carcinogens (cancer-causing toxins), halting the growth of cancer cells, and blocking angiogenesis. It should be noted that angiogenesis is a process that stimulates the formation of new blood cells within the tumor mass.
Onions, by blocking this process, deprive the tumor mass of the nutrients needed for the survival of the cancer cells resulting in their death.
Beans and other legumes are rich in soluble fibers, which help to lower your cholesterol levels. They also provide a high amount of resistant starch, which cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes; hence, end up being fermented by the intestinal bacteria into healthy fatty acids that reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Mushrooms can make up for a delicious addition to any dish. You can simply cook them and add to a salad or use chopped mushrooms as a topping for a homemade pizza or sandwiches.
The most common forms of mushrooms including white, Portobello, cremini, oyster, and shiitake have anti-cancer properties. They also act as an anti-inflammatory agent and prevent damage to the normal cells.
Mushrooms can stimulate the immune system, slow down the cancer cell growth, and prevent the DNA damage. Mushrooms also trigger apoptosis, a process that causes programmed cancer cell death, and also inhibits angiogenesis.
This veggie/fruit is a perfect cancer-fighting superfood, thanks to its high content of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant phytochemical, which is also a good source of vitamins A, E and C all of which are the worst enemies of the cancer-causing free radicals.
You can easily stuff your sandwiches with sliced tomatoes or use them to top the ready-made pizza dough. In whichever form it is used, tomatoes are sure to help you fight cancer.
7. Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts provide a rich source of healthy fats and a spectrum of nutrients including minerals, phytosterols, and antioxidants. These nutrients improve the health of the body’s cells and tissues and increase their resistance against cancer-causing toxins.
Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and sesame seeds are rich in lignans, both of which produce a strong anti-cancer effect.
Women diagnosed with breast cancer are advised to eat these nuts on a daily basis to reduce the risk of mortality associated with this disease. These nuts also provide protection against prostate cancer and lung cancer.
Watermelons are a rich source of powerful antioxidants that can help in preventing cancer by destroying the free radicals. Watermelons also contain a high amount of vitamin C, and beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, which strengthen the response of the immune system against the carcinogenic toxins.
Watermelon also contains the popular cancer-fighting substance, lycopene. Eating watermelons at least 3 times a week can reduce your risk of lung, oral, colon, and esophageal cancers to a great extent.
Some other anti-cancer superfoods to reduce your risk of cancer:
- Bell peppers
- Dried Apricots
- Sunflower Seeds
A nutritionally-deficient, high-carb, and fat-full diet is a recipe for disaster. You really don’t need to eat these foods and invite disease like cancer. Instead eat the healthy foods mentioned above, which harness the power of nutrition and prevent cancer. These superfoods can also improve your chances of recovery if you have already been diagnosed with it.