It’s a stunning statistic. Research has found that 30 to 35 percent of all cancers are tied directly to our diet.
Which means by simply making some changes to what you’re eating you could send your risk for developing cancer plummeting.
Some of the worst cancer-linked culprits include artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined flours, charred meats, trans fats and refined sugars.
Build a protective shield with foods to fight cancer
But reducing our cancer risk shouldn’t end with the foods we should ban from our diet. It turns out carefully choosing which foods we eat MORE of could help slash our risk too.
To protect yourself against this killer eat more of these six foods to fight cancer.
1. Broccoli sprouts:
If you want to add a new twist to your sandwiches or salads, give broccoli sprouts a try. Not only will they add a delicious crunchy bite to your meal, they scored the top spot on our list of foods to fight cancer for a good reason… they offer powerful protection.
Part of the brassica family, broccoli sprouts are loaded with sulforaphane, a phytochemical that experts say can literally kill cancer cells. In fact, eating three to five servings of brassica veggies a week could send your cancer risk plummeting by 30 to 40 percent. And researchers say they target cancer cells while leaving surrounding healthy cells unharmed.
In one study, published in the journal Annals of Oncology, researchers took a closer look at a number of case control trials to learn more about the link between cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli sprouts, and cancer. They found folks who ate the vegetables at least once a week had a much lower risk of developing certain cancers including oral, esophageal, pharynx, breast, kidney and colorectal cancers.
2. Cottage cheese:
If you’re a cottage cheese fan making one small switch could turn your snack break into a cancer fighting session. Swap your ordinary cottage cheese for a cultured brand. Two brands we like are Good Culture and Nancy’s.
Cultured cottage cheeses are an often overlooked but excellent source of the probiotics that keep your gut healthy and your immune system rocking. And according to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, those same probiotics help lower your risk of several kinds of cancer, including colon and breast cancers.
Not sure if your favorite brand makes the cut? Just check the label for active cultures such as L. acidophilus or B. bifidum.
3. Red grapes:
You already know that red grapes, like the ones used to make red wine, are good for your heart. But it turns out those same delicious grapes have earned a spot on our list of foods to fight cancer too.
In lab studies the powerful antioxidant, resveratrol, found in red grape skins has been shown to fight inflammation and prevent cancer cells from growing. And should you still develop the disease, the phytonutrient could be a useful addition to your cancer treatment. (Check with your oncologist first, of course.)
In a study conducted at the University of Missouri, 44 percent of melanoma cancer cells treated with resveratrol alone died. But pre-treating the cells with the extract before zapping them with a radiation treatment increased that number to 65 percent.
Red wine is a good source of resveratrol. But a daily wine habit isn’t a reasonable option for many folks. Not to mention it can come with some pitfalls of its own if you overdo.
For healthy folks eating more grapes is a good option. To get the most bang for your buck look for Muscadine grapes which are highest in resveratrol. And peanuts, cocoa and dark chocolate contain the powerful phytonutrient too. To get a therapeutic dose, however, you might want consider a supplement as well.
4. Organic beef:
Most folks are surprised to find beef on a list of foods to fight cancer. That’s because for years the mainstream has tried to convince them that they have to give up red meat to protect themselves against cancer. But that’s not entirely true.
Sure, you have to give up red meat. But don’t worry; you’ll never even miss it. Because to protect yourself against cancer the only beef you need to ditch from your diet is the grain-fed, conventionally raised red meat variety.
The vast majority of beef in America comes from grain-fed (GMO) cattle. It’s high in inflammatory omega-6 fats, and the meat is often pumped full of cancer-linked antibiotics.
But a modest amount of organic, free-range, grass-fed beef, on the other hand, could actually improve your cancer odds. Because beef contains vitamin B-12, zinc, and selenium nutrients that help protect your body and support your organs so that they can purge carcinogens.
Folate, and vitamins A, C, and E all play an important role in protecting us from cancer. From cancer prevention to slowing its growth, they’re essential nutrients.
And it turns out you can get all four in something you’re going to love eating anyway. A cup of delicious, tropical papaya delivers plenty of all four of them. In fact, you’ll be getting an entire day’s worth of vitamin C.
Your body uses dietary folate to make important DNA repairs. And folate levels that dip too low are linked to cancer. Experts say folate containing foods can help protect against esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
And while we need more research, studies have found food sourced vitamins A, C and E could help lower your risk of certain cancers including breast and lung cancers.
If you’ve never eaten fresh pumpkin, you’re missing out. Because this common winter squash is great for more than just carving or turning into pie… it’s tasty too. And most importantly, nutrients in pumpkin could lower your risk for certain cancers.
Winter squash contain plenty of carotenoids—such as the beta carotene that gives pumpkin its pleasant orange color—which are natural antioxidants. That means they can help prevent the kind of free-radical damage that can lead to cancer.
And experts say the plant sterols found in pumpkin seeds could help fight off certain cancers (possibly, in part, because of their cholesterol lowering benefits). Plus, like other high fiber foods, pumpkin could lower your risk of breast cancer.
Need some inspiration? Check out our recipe for Golden Roasted Pumpkin or Pumpkin Puree.
Slash your risk for cancer by cutting cancer linked foods from your diet. But don’t stop there. Protect yourself with these six power foods to fight cancer, too.