Cancer affects millions of people each year. Considered one of the major health issues, The United States alone registers around 1 million cancer patients each year. The abnormal behavior of cells resulting in cancer, tumors, and metastasis has given rise to a record number of deaths per year.
Although the general frustration regarding the lack of a trustworthy and easier cure of this wide-spread hazard is huge, researchers have made significant progress on ways of ensuring that you don’t have this disease in the first place. As the old saying goes, “Protection before Cure”, we can easily fight can by protecting ourselves with simple foods that are available at the local grocery store. Some of these items are already in our daily menu, and just adjusting the number of intakes can give us a much-needed protection without an added hassle!
So, next time you are at the grocery store, pick up some of these items which could actively protect you and your family from the risk of cancer:
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Exceptionally rich in vitamins, mineral, enzymes, and antioxidants, green leafy veggies are quite low in calories, salts, fats and other toxic elements. All leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula, etc. are known to combat cancer. They also have antibacterial and antiviral properties, protecting the body from inflammation.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. fall into this category and are powerful foods to fight cancer. They contain Vitamin C and master antioxidants that help fight cancer to a huge degree.
Broccoli contains the highest amount of sulforaphane, which is a component known to boost the protective enzymes present in the human body, which in turn expels toxic elements that can cause cancer. Very recently, a study at Michigan University found out that sulforaphane successfully targets the stem cells of cancer, which usually are responsible for the growth of the tumor.
Research suggested that there is no limit to the amount of broccoli you should consume and so more the amount, better the protection. So, starting from flavored broccoli salads to a broccoli-topped pizza, consume broccoli all you can!
This everyday juicy fruit contains a high amount of lycopene, which is a carotenoid responsible for the red color in tomatoes. In a recent study, lycopene had stopped the endometrial cancer growth. Endometrial cancer alone is responsible for about 8,000 deaths every year.
Research says that cooked tomatoes are even better than uncooked ones since the process of heating allows the lycopene to be more absorbable by our bodies. Tomatoes are especially beneficial for preventing lung, prostate and stomach cancer. Experts say that having tomatoes around 7-10 times per week can reduce the possibility of prostate cancer by about 40%.
All sorts of berries contain phytonutrients that fight cancer, especially black raspberry which is packed with anthocyanins. Anthocyanins can considerably slow down growth in premalignant cells and prevents the formation of new blood vessels, says Dr. Gary D. Stoner of Ohio State University College of Medicine. Half a cup of berry every day can do the trick, especially when there is a high risk of esophageal, oral and skin cancer.
A Michigan State University research showed that black and navy beans significantly reduced the risk of colon cancers in lab rats. The fatty acid butyrate present in these legumes has the cancer-protective capacity and just half a cup a few times a week is enough. Dried beans are especially effective against breast cancer.
Highly regarded from old times for its healing properties, garlic protects nitrosamines which are carcinogens formed in the stomach and intestines when nitrates are consumed. Nitrates are commonly used as food preservatives and pose much threat to our health. An Iowa Women’s Health Study found out that garlic can reduce the risk of colon cancers by up to 50%.
If you are repulsed by the strong smell of garlic, just chop a small clove and put it in the sauce, stew or soup you are making!
Walnuts contain phytosterols, which are basically cholesterol-like molecules mostly available in plants. According to Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., from the Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, the phytosterols from walnuts has been found to block estrogen receptors which are present in breast cancer cells, and subsequently, slowing down cancer cell growth. Walnuts also fight against prostate cancer. An ounce a day of walnuts is enough to protect you from these cancers.
8. Organic Meats
Many specialists recommend organic meat, as well as chicken and beef liver, to fight against cancer. Extremely high in vitamin B12, organic meat is one of the densest food rich in nutrients. The minerals present can also help a cleaner liver and boost the natural capacity of the body to expel toxins. The selenium, zinc and Vitamin B can also act as the detox for the blood and intestines, help production of bile, and create balance in the hormones, reducing the risk of infections.
9. Orange Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables with bright pigmentations, like citrus fruits, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, squash, etc. are usually packed with carotenoid antioxidants. Carotenoids are basically derivatives of Vitamin A, which are easily available in these fruits and vegetables. The beta-carotene alone is a very effective component that helps to boost the immunity of the body, fighting cancer in skin, eyes and other organs, as well as, detoxifying the body. Besides, lutein and zeaxanthin prevent many disorders of the skin and eyes, creating a strong filter against harmful blue wavelengths of high energy.
The doctors suggest to ‘eat the rainbow’, meaning, loading up your plate with foods of different colors!
A number of research conveyed on the properties of mushrooms provide evidence that ‘medicinal’ mushrooms, for example, the varieties of cordyceps, maitake and shiitake mushrooms, help the immunity of the body and actively protects the body from cancer.
If the medicinal varieties are not readily available, even button mushrooms contain components that vigorously fight cancer.