Cancer is a global health problem and the second leading cause of death. According to World Health Organization (WHO), cancer was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015.
Around one-third of these deaths were attributed to five leading behavioral and dietary risks, namely: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.
In this article, let’s pick one cause of cancer to focus on: Diet. While the numbers of death are frightening, we have the ability to reduce the risk of getting cancer through the food that we consume.
Thus, having a healthy diet is of utmost importance. Include in your diet the following cancer-fighting foods listed below.
Green teas contain predominant polyphenols and theaflavins, while black teas contain thearubigins that have antioxidant activity, according to the National Cancer Institute.
These chemicals are found to have substantial free radical scavenging activity that may protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species.
If you have been consuming tea drinks, be aware that iced and ready to drink teas may contain lesser polyphenol content than the freshly brewed tea, which has the highest polyphenol concentration.
A fantastic superfood, Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
Studies have shown a reduced risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer by consuming cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli provides the most benefit when eaten raw or steamed.
Another cruciferous vegetable, cabbage contains glucosinolates and bioflavonoids, which inhibit the growth of a tumor and protect cells from free radicals.
People who added raw or lightly cooked cabbage and sauerkraut to their diet 3 -5 times a week were 70% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who had it twice or less, according to a study at Michigan State University.
A study on the effect of garlic conducted by the National Cancer Institute revealed that garlic has antibacterial properties and has the ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances.
It also halts the activation of these cancer causing substances, enhances DNA repair, reduces cell proliferation, and induces cell death.
Several studies also show that increased intake of garlic reduced the risk of certain types of cancers in the stomach, breast, esophagus, and colon.
Blueberries are not only great for snacks and smoothies, but also in lowering the risk of cancer.
The American Institute for Cancer Research stated that the phytochemicals and nutrients found in blueberries were well studied in the laboratory. The dietary fiber it contains not only lowers cancer risk but also helps in weight control.
Coffee is probably one of the most favored drinks because of its ability to boost our mood and energy levels.
The Scientific Information on Coffee reported that regular coffee drinkers are 40% less likely to develop cancer. Other studies further show that coffee lowers the risk of endometrial cancer.
However, coffee intake should be done in moderation, which equals about 3 to 5 cups a day. This amount is enough to lower the risk of cirrhosis and liver diseases by up to 70%.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”! So it’s been said.
An entire apple provides the benefit of reducing the risk of cancer. Aside from that, the peel of an apple has been the subject of the scientists’ ongoing study because of its phytochemical compounds that have anti-cancer effects.
Associate professor of Food Science at Cornell University, Rui Hai Liu, admitted they found several compounds in whole apples that have potent anti-proliferative activities against human liver, colon, and breast cancer, and may also be responsible for the anti-cancer activities.
A non-starchy vegetable, carrots is a source of fiber, carotenoids like beta-carotene, and other phytochemicals.
The antioxidant,s beta carotene and alpha-carotene, protect our bodies from the damaging free radicals and promote cell-to-cell communication essential in maintaining healthy cell growth.
Other compounds found in carrots, luteolin and falcarinol, decrease cancer cell growth and increase cancer cell death in animals.
Cherries are another sweet and tart fruits that are a good source of dietary fiber found to lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Dietary fiber helps to control weight by making you feel fuller.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important in preventing other cancers that are caused by excess body fat.
Cherries also prevent cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and lungs. Vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium are among the healthy substances found in both tart and sweet cherries.
Adding some, if not all of the above-fruits and vegetables in your grocery list only proves that staying healthy and keeping cancer at bay are at your fingertips.