Foods That Prevent Cancer: 7 Foods To The Rescue

Last Updated: December 2, 2023

What Is Cancer? Can Common Foods Prevent Cancer?

For a common man to understand what cancer is, is that it can be defined as uncontrolled growth of cells and their spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can start in any part of the body and spread rapidly to other parts. Although, by making some lifestyle changes and having foods that prevent cancer, we can put an end to this growth.

Cancerous tumors or malignant tumors spread into other tissues and other parts of the body as well. These tumors, when removed, tend to grow back after a period of time. Non-cancerous tumors on other hand do not spread to other tissues or parts of the body, and do not grow back once removed.

What Are The Causes Of Cancer? Can We Prevent Cancer By Avoiding These Causes?

The factors that cause cancer may vary from case to case. In some cases, it could be genetic, environmental, or constitutional characteristics of an individual. While, there is no single cause for cancer, it is the combination of many factors together. Some of the causes of cancer could be as follows:

  • Genetic predisposition or gene mutation
  • Use of tobacco
  • Certain infections like Hepatitis B and C and human papillomavirus
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiations from sun and other ionizing radiations like x-rays.
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Immunosuppressive medicines

Other factors that can cause cancer include consumption of alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity and obesity. The risk of cancer increases with age.

What Are The Types Of Cancer?

There are more than 100 types of cancers, that take their name from the organ or tissue they form in. Out of 100 types, the most common types of cancer that affect men are lung, prostate, stomach, colon and rectum. Cancers that affect women the most are the cancer of the breast, colon, rectum, lung and cervix.

Tips To Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a disease which can affect anyone. Bringing about certain changes in our lifestyle only helps us reduce the risk of contracting it. Here are a few tips to follow that are sure to help you reduce the risk of cancer

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit consumption of added sugars and solid fats
  • Include vegetables, fruits and whole grains
  • Moderate your portions of red and processed meats
  • Focus on proteins obtained from plants
  • Limit alcohol consumption

The treatment of cancer depends on various conditions such as the stage in which the cancer is, the organ or tissue affected, immunity of the patient and so on. Here are 7 commonly available foods to incorporate in our regular diet that help prevent cancer.

Spinach Prevents The Cancer Of The Esophagus

Unstable molecules called free radicals should be removed from the body before they start damaging it. Spinach has abundance of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that remove such free radicals from our body. In an NIH/AARP study of more than 490,000 participants, it was found that people who ate more spinach had low chances of developing esophageal cancer.

Have carrots in abundance to avoid cancer
Have carrots in abundance to avoid cancer

Have Carrots In Abundance To Avoid Cancer

Carrots are one of the most commonly available vegetables. They have an anti-oxidant called beta-carotene which helps membranes from toxin damage and lowers the growth of cancer cells. Carrots are better and most useful when cooked because the nutrients remain intact when we boil or steam them. Carrots also have other vitamins and phytochemicals that guard against cancers of the breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and stomach.

Tomatoes Are One Of The Best Cancer Prevention Foods

A lot of powerful antioxidant are present in tomatoes in the most concentrated form. A diet rich in these antioxidants helps protect against prostate cancer. Presence of these antioxidants makes tomatoes act as a guard against cancer and heart diseases. Having cooked or processed tomatoes is the best form of consumption since the heat breaks down the plant’s cell walls, making cancer fighting compounds easily available to your body.

Broccoli Helps Prevent Cancers Of Prostate, Lung, Colon And Breast

Broccoli, like its other cruciferous vegetables contains glucosinolates, which produce protective enzymes when the cell walls are ruptured while chewing these vegetables raw. These enzymes are also present in our intestines and get active when raw or processed broccoli passes through it. Broccoli has sulforaphane, which might help in detoxifying our body of the harmful pollutants in the environment. Broccoli helps protect cancers of the prostate, lung, colon and breast among many others.

Soy helps prevent breast cancer
Soy Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

Soy Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

Presence of unique phytonutrients in soy makes it the preferred food to avoid certain types of cancers. While clinical trials are underway to define the role of soy in preventing cancer, many doctors suggest that including soy foods such as edamame, tofu, soy milk and miso is helpful in lowering the risk of breast cancer. However, it is not safe to have isoflavone pills and powders.

Green tea is classified as cancer prevention food
Green tea is classified as a cancer prevention food

Green Tea Is Classified As Cancer Prevention Food

One cup of green tea is supposed to contain 100-200 mg of a nontoxic substance called epigallocatechin-3 gallate. This enzyme has properties that act against Urokinase, an enzyme which aids growth of cancer cells. Green tea is an antioxidant and can form an important part of anti-cancer diet. The medicinal properties of green tea can help in curing Liver, Breast, Pancreatic, Lung, Esophageal and skin cancer.

Turmeric Has Curcumin Which Helps Prevent Cancer

According to American Cancer Society, Curcumin can hamper some cancer cells and slow down the spread of cancer in humans. Likewise, curcumin has also shown good results when tested on animals, as it could shrink tumors in some animals. Curcumin is in abundance in turmeric, a common spice found in Indian households. It is used extensively in preparation of Indian curries.

Pro Tip: Add a pinch of turmeric to a cup of warm milk and consume daily before going to bed. It has proven health benefits. 

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