Many people are concerned about whether their dietary choices can help prevent cancer or slow its progression. Eating a wide variety of plant foods is a good start for cancer treatment. Fruits, vegetables, grains and beans contain hundreds of health-promoting phytochemicals that you can’t get from a dietary supplement. Here are some of the best cancer-fighting foods you can put on your plate.
Broccoli contains isothiocyanate and indole compounds that block cancer-causing substances and slow tumor growth. Other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and collard greens contain the same compounds.
With its tart flavor and deep red color, cranberry adds both visual and health to the menu. Cranberries are a source of anthocyanins and flavonols, substances that can boost the immune response and help cells detoxify harmful substances.
3. Dark green leafy vegetables
Spinach, kale, kale, lettuce, and other dark green leafy vegetables are standout sources of many cancer-fighting substances, including carotenoids. In laboratory studies, the antioxidant compounds in these vegetables stopped the growth of cancer cells.
Vegetables in the Allium family include garlic, onions, scallions, chives, and leeks. Its cancer-fighting abilities come thanks to the antioxidant quercetin as well as a variety of pungent sulfur-based compounds. Garlic and other allium family foods may protect against stomach and colorectal cancer.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in grapes, particularly red and purple grapes. In animal studies, resveratrol has been shown to prevent cancer and slow the growth of cancer cells.
6. Green tea
This light, flavorful tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants with anticancer properties. In fact, green tea contains three times more catechins than black tea. Regularly drinking green tea has been associated with a lower risk for bladder and digestive tract cancers.
You can reap the health benefits of soybeans if you consume tofu, miso, tempeh, edamame, or soy milk. Soy foods are rich in estrogen-like isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein. Research shows that soy foods protect against hormone-related cancers, including breast, prostate, and endometrium.
The deep orange flesh of acorns, pumpkins, and other winter squash is a clue that they are rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoid pigments. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, a nutrient that, in addition to being an antioxidant, may also help prevent cancer.
Tomatoes get their red color from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Some research shows that lycopene may protect against prostate and other cancers. Processed tomato products such as tomato paste and tomato juice are the most concentrated sources of lycopene.
10. Whole grains
Hundreds of compounds in whole grains have health-promoting properties. For example, the fiber in whole grains may help prevent colorectal cancer. The saponins and phenols in whole grains may reduce the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer. These food choices offer the best protection when combined with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, a non-smoking lifestyle, and participating in recommended cancer screenings.