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Top 12 Cancer Fighting Foods
If you have cancer or know someone who has it, it is essential to note that cancer is unique from other conditions. There is no “cure” because taking a specific type of medicine or undergoing a particular treatment will not technically cure you. When doctors and researchers mention the word cure, the sickness will never return. However, when it comes to cancer, doctors usually refer to the term remission. In this article, we will talk about different cancer fighting foods, cancer fighting vegetables, some cancer fighting fruit, and even how mushrooms help prevent cancer.
Admittedly, there is no “cure” for cancer, but there are ways in which you can prevent and fight cancer with the food you take. Many specialists recommend an anti-inflammatory diet as a strong base for avoiding or treating cancer.
Please keep reading if you want to pursue a healthier lifestyle with me.
What is Cancer?
According to the NCI, cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. It can begin almost anywhere in the body, and what happens is that damaged or abnormal cells multiply, which may form lumps of tissue called “tumors.” Tumors can multiply and invade or spread other healthy tissue; these tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors do not spread, while malignant ones do. Another form of cancer does not involve tumors but instead is a form of cancer of the blood cells.
What is Cancer Fighting Foods?
When people refer to cancer fighting foods or cancer fighting vegetables, this does not mean that these foods will help eradicate cancer already existing. What these foods do is that they help lower the chances of getting cancer, or for people with cancer already, reduce the risk of increasing the complications brought about by having cancer. An article by Mayo Clinic discussed how eating a plant-based diet lowered the chances of cancer compared to an omnivorous diet. That is why we must include cancer fighting fruit and vegetables in our diets.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of changing to a Vegan Diet to prevent cancer, here is an article I wrote which discusses in-depth the help of a Vegan Diet for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.
Cancer Fighting Vegetables
First in our discussion are various cancer fighting vegetables essential to our daily diet. These vegetables show promising results in reducing cancer risk and keeping our immune system strong to fight cancer.
Carrots are a type of root vegetable with a significant amount of carotenoids, an antioxidant necessary to protect our bodies from diseases and enhance our immune system. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, carrots contain Beta-Carotine, a type of carotenoid that our body converts to Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that helps fight off infection and keep our eyes and skin healthy.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are a must in every list for cancer fighting vegetables. The word cruciferous originated from the Latin word, which means crucifix since the four petals of the plant resemble a cross. This category of vegetables includes Kale, Brocolli, Cauliflower, Horseradish, Brussel Sprouts, Arugula, and Bok choy. Aside from being rich in various antioxidants, cruciferous vegetables also contain Glucosinolate.
Recent studies have shown a correlation between a healthy intake of glucosinolate-enriched foods and lowering cancer risk. When a person consumes glucosinolates-rich foods, they convert into isothiocyanates and indoles, which are associated with reducing inflammation and the risk of cancer.
Prepare a scrumptious side salad, to incorporate these vegetables to your meals.
3. Allium Vegetables
Allium is the Latin word for garlic, but the Allium Family of vegetables includes garlic, shallot, leek, onion, chives, and scallion.
Research has shown that intake of allium-rich produce is associated with lowering the risk of contracting several forms of cancer – particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract. Vegetables under the Allium Family contain anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce cancer.
Legumes are edible plant seeds. They vary per legume family but are consistent in that they are very nutritious. They often reach the top healthy food trends since they provide several benefits. Not only are they healthy and a great source of nutrients and protein, but they are also cheap and easy to get. Legumes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, potentially lowering cancer risk.
Legumes are a potential mode of lowering cancer risk, but they also help reduce the risk of heart diseases.
An easy way to incorporate legumes into your diet is by substituting your snacks with peanuts for a healthier alternative.
Cancer Fighting Fruits
Tomatoes are fruits that are usually mistaken for vegetables. Not only are they an excellent addition to your salad, but tomatoes also contain cancer-fighting properties.00
Here are some of the vitamins and nutrients you can get from tomatoes.
Lycopene is a plant nutrient responsible for giving color to tomatoes. The potent antioxidant found in tomatoes shows impressive signs of reducing some forms of cancer.
Vitamins A and C
Vitamin A is essential in keeping our eyes healthy. While Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps our bodies grow in a normal and healthy manner. Vitamin C is also responsible for tissue repair in our bodies.
Blueberries and other forms of berries are good sources of nutrients and phytochemicals. Resveratrol, a chemical found in blueberries, is excellent for reducing swelling and blood clotting. However, Resveratrol is known to reduce the risk of cancer and high cholesterol. The health benefits of blueberries make it cancer fighting fruit for sure.
Tip: Switch out your sweets for a bowl of berries for a healthier diet.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are fantastic sources of vitamins A, C, and potassium. As mentioned earlier, Vitamin A is responsible for helping our bodies be more vital to protect from illnesses and infections. Aside from those already mentioned, Vitamin C boosts the antioxidant levels in our body that helps protect our bodies from free radicals.
The old saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” An apple is a cancer-fighting fruit containing vitamins A, C, and Potassium.
Vitamin A helps our bodies’ significant organs, like the lungs and heart, function properly. While Vitamin C in fruits helps prevent cancer growth, Potassium helps our digestive system work better.
A study by Shannon Reagan-Shaw et al. showed that Apple peels contain exceptionally high levels of antioxidants. Their study showed promising results in reducing prostate and breast cancer, making an apple cancer fighting fruit to eat for sure.
Pears contain a significant amount of nutrients and vitamins that will prevent cancer. Research shows that the compounds found in pears are tremendous in reducing the risk of cancer. Catechins are natural antioxidants found in pears that help keep our body safe from free radicals and also prevent cell damage. In relation to reducing cancer risk, catechins are helpful in reducing cancer growth.
Grapes are another great source of vitamin C. They help our immune system against a lot of sudden or unexpected illnesses. Most importantly, they have Polyphenols that are known to fight against diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer!
The number of benefits that this little fruit give can surprise anyone. It has a lot of nutrients and particularly vitamin C. A lot of people often use it on their diets since it’s very tasty and helps with skin care as well. Lastly, research shows that kiwi actually helps in reducing the possibility of getting cancer.
How Mushrooms Help Prevent Cancer
Mushrooms are technically not a vegetable since they are part of the fungus family and have hundreds of species available. People use mushrooms in China and other Asian countries for their medicinal benefits. In China, medicinal mushrooms date back to ancient times. The ancient text Shennong Bencaojin, written between 206 BC and 220 AD, discussed mushrooms’ health benefits. Only in recent years have we been incorporating the health benefits of these superfoods. However, not all mushrooms are equally built. Certain mushrooms, called “Medicinal Mushrooms,” offer more health benefits than regular ones.
According to the NCI, here are the more common medicinal mushrooms available:
- Ganoderma lucidum (reishi).
- Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor (turkey tail).
- Lentinus edodes (shiitake).
- Grifola frondosa (maitake).
Out of the four, shiitake mushrooms are the one that is readily available in most grocery stores.
Quick and Easy Shiitake Mushroom Recipe:
- Clean and slice mushrooms according to preference.
- Dice some white onions.
- Sauté the mushrooms and onions in a preheated pan for a few minutes until most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with scallions, and you’re done.
Mushrooms help prevent cancer due to their properties which help suppress tumors. For people with pre-existing cancer, research would suggest that people who take in mushrooms more frequently could withstand chemotherapy more.
Eat Healthy to Live a Longer Life
Cancer as mentioned before sadly has no cure. However, there are certain cancer fighting foods including cancer fighting fruit and cancer fighting vegetables that will help prevent cancer.
Prevention is better than cure, so having a balanced and healthy diet will ensure a long and happy life.