Good nutrition should be part of your cancer-fighting strategy, whether you’re undergoing cancer treatment, in recovery, or simply lowering your risk for cancer. While plenty of foods are touted for their cancer-fighting abilities, the truth is that no single food is powerful enough to cure or prevent cancer. However, combining the right foods can help your body recover better and help reduce cancer risks.
There is strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases your risk for many types of cancers, including cancers of the liver, colorectum, pancreas, esophagus, kidney, and breast. Proper nutrition helps reduce the risk of cancer because it helps us maintain a healthy body weight while also providing our bodies with the strength it needs to function properly. Here are some of the best foods and meals for fighting cancer:
Many studies have shown that tomatoes help reduce the risk of several cancers. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, the substance that gives tomatoes their vivid bright color. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that not only lowers the risk of certain cancers but also comes with health benefits like improved heart health and sun protection. While eating tomatoes raw is healthy for you, the cooking process is what releases the full nutritional potential and power of lycopene. That’s why your diet should include tomato-based dishes such as tomato soup or whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce.
Poached or Steamed Fatty Fish
Salmon, herring, and tuna are cancer-fighting fish because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. However, the way you cook the fish is crucial. Cooking methods like deep-frying and grilling may actually increase your risk of cancer as cooking over high heat exposes the food to carcinogens. Deep frying increases the food’s saturated fat and trans-fat content, which promotes plaque buildup. For fatty fish to be at its healthiest, poach or steam it instead. Low-temperature cooling methods are best at preserving the fish’s omega-3 fatty acids.
Include high-fiber foods in your diet, such as whole grains, dried fruits, beans, berries, avocados, and apples with peel. Fiber plays an important role in maintaining digestive health, which helps reduce the risk of cancers, including gastric and colon. A high-fiber diet helps you maintain a healthy weight and keeps your bowel movements regular, reducing the risk of tumor development.
Crunchy Salads with Healthy Dressings
High on the list of cancer-fighting foods are vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and spinach help fight cancer because they are rich in manganese, vitamin K, and vitamin C. They also contain sulforaphane, which has been observed to use its anticancer properties to inhibit cancer cell growth. Carrots, which are rich in essential nutrients and beta-carotene, are known for their ability to support the immune system. Eat plenty of these vegetables as a side dish or the base of a salad. For the healthiest and cancer-fighting dressings, choose ones made with extra virgin olive oil or apple cider vinegar.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about cancer-fighting tips.