Let’s be honest, by now you know diet is the cornerstone of good health. You even know that what you eat can help you sidestep cancer, or give it the fuel to thrive. But if you want to maximize your cancer-fighting results, you need to know exactly which foods will deliver the most anti-cancer bang for your buck.
Following are eight powerful foods that can help you build a wall against cancer.
Black beans are a high protein, high fiber choice that make an excellent addition to any meal. Animal studies out of Michigan State University link black beans to lower rates of colon and breast cancers. Beans are packed with antioxidants and cancer fighting compounds such as inositol hexaphosphate and inositol pentakisphosphate, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
According to the Ohio State University College of Medicine, black raspberries are the ultimate berry for fighting cancer. They’re packed with a special phytochemical that slows down the growth of precancerous cells, putting the brakes on the development of cancerous tumors. If you can’t find black raspberries, regular raspberries and blueberries are good alternatives.
Broccoli is brimming with the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. Sulforaphane helps your body purge the chemicals that can cause cancer. To boost broccoli’s benefits replenish your good gut bugs with plenty of probiotic foods or a supplement, which will help more sulforaphane to be released and absorbed. And be sure to only lightly steam those stalks, because overcooking broccoli will destroy some of its sulforaphane content.
When you eat processed foods, carcinogens can form, especially in the stomach. Garlic can help slow, or even stop, the development of those carcinogens. Large studies, including the ground-breaking Iowa Women’s Health Study found women who ate the most garlic had a 50 percent lower risk of certain cancers.
Teas contain powerful antioxidants called catechins. These antioxidants are linked to a lower risk of cancer, and may even help shrink existing cancer cells. While both black and green teas contain the potent compounds, green tea has higher levels of them. So go ahead and enjoy one to three cups of green tea a day.
The same nutrient that gives tomatoes their bright red color, lycopene, could help protect you against cancer. In a study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, researchers showed that lycopene can stop the growth of endometrial cancer cells in their tracks. For best results cook your tomatoes. Heating them breaks down cell walls releasing more lycopene for your body to absorb.
The American Cancer Society reports that turmeric has been proven to shrink cancer cells in animals and lab tests. More studies are needed to see exactly how this exotic spice performs in the human body, but the research so far look fantastic and there’s no reason to wait around for those final results. Turmeric isn’t just delicious, it’s a proven anti-inflammatory with a long list of benefits on its resume. So go ahead and add turmeric to just about any dish to turn it into a superfood.
Hopefully, you’ve taken our advice and you’re already eating nuts as part of your healthy diet. But to take it to the superfood level, make sure some of those nuts are walnuts. Studies hint that walnuts may help slow the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. According to Marshall University School of Medicine, you should aim for around one ounce of walnuts per day.
You’re already doing your best to eat healthy. Now take it to the next level with these cancer-fighting superfoods!