Lower Your Risk for Cancer With These 10 Food Choices

A healthy diet can drastically improve your health, making you less likely to develop chronic diseases as well as lowering your risk for cancer. Many scientific studies have shown that your diet can strongly influence cancer development. In addition, certain foods contain beneficial nutrients that help decrease cancer growth. Here are ten superfoods that can help lower your risk for cancer:

1. Spices 

Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, oregano, and allspice aren’t just good for enhancing your meals with flavor; these spices contain phytochemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer cells, suppress cell division, and decrease the formation of free radicals. Spices have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties, serving as carcinogen bioactivation inhibitors.

2. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, calcium, and folate, which are cancer-fighting nutrients. They are also loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants. Vitamin C strengthens immune function and helps the body absorb iron from foods better. Citrus fruits with the highest levels of vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes.

3. Fermented foods

Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, miso, pickles, kombucha, and sauerkraut provide the body with beneficial probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that bring balance to the gut and improve function in the immune system so that it is better equipped to protect the body against cancer.

4. Nuts

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, cashews, and chestnuts provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection. Nuts also contain good fats, which can help lower harmful cholesterol levels.

5. Berries

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries contain high levels of vitamins and antioxidants, which repair damaged cells and slow the spread of cancer cells.

6. Beans

Beans are high in fiber and folate. Beans are also rich in potent phytochemicals which protect the body from cell damage, which could lead to tumor growth and cancer. Some of the best cancer-fighting beans to include in your diet include red lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, and yellow split beans.

7. Dark, leafy greens

Dark leafy greens like kale, arugula, mustard greens, and spinach contain high levels of carotenoids which act as antioxidants that defend the body from free radicals that damage DNA and can cause cancer growth.

8. Fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which provide cancer protection. Omega-3 fatty acids have been studied to prevent or slow cancer development by reducing inflammation and limiting cancer cell growth and division.

9. Garlic

The pungent scent and distinct flavor have led many people to believe that garlic is a spice or herb. But did you know that garlic is considered a vegetable? The good news is that powdered garlic also provides the benefits of fresh garlic. Global research shows that eating garlic regularly lowers your risk for cancer, specifically colorectal cancer, due to compounds and cancer-fighting phytochemicals that help with DNA repair and decrease cancer-causing inflammation.

10. Tomatoes

The lycopene found in tomatoes is known for its anti-cancer properties. Lycopene prevents oxidative damage of DNA, which can transform healthy cells into cancer cells. Generally, the redder a tomato is, the more lycopene it contains. Cherry tomatoes have also ranked the highest in lycopene content. While raw tomatoes are healthy for you, lycopene content is highest in cooked tomatoes, such as in tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and even tomato ketchup.

Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about cancer-fighting tips.