We learn more every day about how what we put into our shopping cart can have a direct effect on our ability to stay healthy and cancer free. In fact, experts estimate that somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all cases of cancer could be prevented simply by making some minor changes to our diet and lifestyle.
Fill your menu with the following foods and you could end up slashing your risk for cancer up to 63 percent!
Beat back cancer with beans:
You should be eating between 25 and 38 grams a day of fiber, but the Western diet which is high in processed foods and refined flours and low in fiber, doesn’t typically deliver much. In fact, most Americans aren’t eating nearly enough of this natural cancer fighter.
But you can fix that by making beans, which contain around 19 grams of fiber in just a single cup, a regular feature on your menu.
Researchers say eating lots of fiber rich foods can send women’s risk for breast cancer plummeting. Young women eating around 28 grams a day had a 24 percent lower risk of developing the cancer before menopause, compared to ladies who ate the least. And more mature women on a high fiber diet had their overall lifetime risk drop by 16 percent.1
Fresh fruits and veggies are also a terrific way to bump up the fiber in your diet to fight off cancer.
Slash tumor risk with flaxseed:
Flaxseeds—which are an excellent source of fiber, omega 3s (as alpha-linolenic acid), and lignin—are brimming with cancer-fighting nutrients. And a growing number of animal studies are pointing to this humble little seed’s apparent ability to prevent cancer and halt its spread.
For a study published in the journal Carcinogenesis, mice that were prone to cancer were fed flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. The flaxseed protected the little critters from cancer, significantly reducing the number of tumors as well as the spread of cancer.2
In other studies flaxseed and flaxseed extracts slashed tumors up to an incredible 63 percent.3,4,5 This potent little seed has shown promise in fighting a variety of cancers including melanoma, breast and prostate.
Sprinkle flaxseeds into salads, cottage cheese and yogurt. Or try mixing them into baked goods, burgers, meatloaf or casseroles.
Cut out cancer with cruciferous vegetables:
Cruciferous veggies, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, are brimming with a cancer fighting compound called sulforophane. This natural antioxidant is so powerful that in one study out of China researchers found that women who had the highest level of the compound in their blood were 50 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.6
But the cruciferous veggie resume doesn’t end there. In another study, chowing down of five or more servings of the vegetables a week was linked with a 51 percent lower risk of bladder cancer.7
And experts say eating more servings of the veggies could lower your chance of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 33 percent, lung cancer by 35 percent and prostate cancer by 41 percent.8,9.10
Why not get started by lightly steaming some broccoli or cauliflower to go with dinner tonight?
Get the “all clear” from your doc with garlic:
Vegetables in the allium family, including garlic, onions, leeks and scallions could be the secret to avoiding ever having to hear your doctor say the dreaded words, you’ve got cancer.” Experts say the sulfur-containing compounds in these potent veggies are likely the key to their protective effects.
According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a fondness for garlic could help protect you against stomach and colon cancers.11 In fact, the folks who consumed the most garlic had up to a 50 percent lower risk of developing either cancer.
And men who ate the most garlic or scallions reduced their risk of prostate cancer from 30 to 47 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.12
To get the most from your garlic chop up the cloves and allow them to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before stirring the delicious spice into your favorite dishes.
On your next grocery store trip be sure to fill your cart up with plenty of these cancer–fighting foods to stay healthy and cancer free for years to come.
1. “Dietary Fiber Intake in Young Adults and Breast Cancer Risk,” Pediatrics, February 2016
2. “Flaxseed and its lignan and oil components reduce mammary tumor growth at a late stage of carcinogenesis,” Carcinogenesis. 1996 Jun;17(6):1373-6
3. “Antitumorigenic effect of a mammalian lignan precursor from flaxseed,” Nutr Cancer. 1996;26(2):159-65
Nutr Cancer. 1996;26(2):159-65
4. “Dietary flaxseed inhibits human breast cancer growth and metastasis and downregulates expression of insulin-like growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor,” Nutr Cancer. 2002;43(2):187-92
5. “Dietary flaxseed supplementation and experimental metastasis of melanoma cells in mice,” Cancer Lett. 1998 Feb 27;124(2):181-6
6. “Urinary isothiocyanate levels, brassica, and human breast cancer,” Cancer Res. 2003 Jul 15;63(14):3980-6
7. “Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of bladder cancer in a male prospective cohort,” J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999 Apr 7;91(7):605-13
8. “Intakes of fruits, vegetables, and related nutrients and the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among women,” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 May;9(5):477-85
9. “Isothiocyanates, glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 polymorphisms, and lung-cancer risk: a prospective study of men in Shanghai, China,” Lancet. 2000 Aug 26;356(9231):724-9
10. “Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk,” J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Jan 5;92(1):61-8
11. “Garlic consumption and cancer prevention: meta-analyses of colorectal and stomach cancers,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Oct;72(4):1047-52.
12. “Allium vegetables and risk of prostate cancer: a population-based study,” J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002 Nov 6;94(21):1648-51
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