Reducing your risk for cancer can include a healthy diet, regular exercise and health screenings.
Get back to basics with these cancer-fighting fruit and vegetables, proven to help reduce your risk for different types of cancer. But first, learn what’s in fruits and veggies that fights cancer.
Phytochemicals. You might have seen the term, but what does it mean? Phytochemicals are plant chemicals responsible for color, odor and flavor, according to the American Cancer Institute. They make up powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. These plant-based heroes can reduce inflammation, block carcinogens, repair cells, repair and prevent DNA damage and regulate hormones.
The ACI recommends making two-thirds of your plate fruits and vegetables. Doing so can help reduce the risk of mouth, lung, stomach, esophagus and throat cancer. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables—not just one type—will reduce your risk of cancer.
Fruit and veggies
You can find all of these fruits and veggies at your local grocery store or farmer’s market:
These tasty treats are full of polyphenols, vitamin C and fiber. Polyphenols can help prevent inflammation in the body. Fiber reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, vitamin C reduces the risk of cancer of the esophagus . Go blueberritastic and eat some for breakfast, or add to yogurt, a smoothie, or cereal. Blueberries are also known to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A cruciferous (kroo-sif-er-uhs) vegetable, broccoli contains glucosinolates, beta-carotene, vitamin C, carotenoid, fiber and folate. Beta-carotene reduces the risk of cancer of the esophagus. Carotenoids reduce the risk of mouth, throat and lung cancer. And folate reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer.
This pungent herb is not just used in vampire folklore. Researchers report a “dose response relationship” with garlic—the more you eat, the more you reduce your cancer risk. According to the ACI, compounds found within garlic help prevent or slow the formation of tumors related to colon, stomach, prostate and bladder cancer. Garlic also raises immunity and reduces blood pressure. Use garlic to enhance the flavor of foods. Add to pastas, shrimp, soups, fish or chicken.
Ah, the tomato. Lycopene, found in these red fruits, has been linked to reducing prostate, breast, lung and endometrial cancer (Cancer of the uterus). The ACI recommends processed forms that allow natural compounds to be released and absorbed easily. Include tomato sauce, paste or juice in your diet. Try making your own tomato sauce to reduce sodium.
Sources: American Cancer Institute, American Heart Association