Diet plays a crucial role in preventing cancer, and in combination with exercise, it is the only aspect that we can control. Environmental and genetic factors are mostly determined by external elements. Smoking and using tobacco should be avoided to reduce the risk of cancer.
Consuming organic and whole foods rather than processed and pesticide-laden ones is beneficial. However, several nutrients can fight cancerous cells. The following foods, elements of food, or ingredients are essential for cancer prevention:
Folate is a B-complex vitamin, which is used to fortify various foods that lack it. A low level of folate leads to mutations in DNA, increasing the risk of cancer. Consuming 400 micrograms of folate per day significantly reduces the chances of cancer. Foods rich in folate include fortified cereals, orange juice, peanuts, and beans. Additionally, vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and romaine lettuce are also excellent sources. Taking a supplement is a good option if it is difficult to incorporate folate-rich foods in one’s diet.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that facilitates calcium absorption, protects against heart disease, depression, and weight gain, and curbs cancer cell growth. Recent studies indicate that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 50%. It also improves survival rates for people with lung cancer. The sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D. Milk, eggs, and seafood such as cod, shrimp, and Chinook salmon are also great options.
Tea contains antioxidants that help defend against free radicals. Free radicals can weaken cells, increasing their susceptibility to cancer. One of the antioxidants in tea is kaempferol, which reduces the risk of reproductive cancers. Four cups of tea a day are recommended to consume 10-12 milligrams of kaempferol. Other sources of kaempferol include fruits such as apples, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and tomatoes. Vegetables rich in kaempferol include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, lettuce, squash, green beans, cucumbers, and spinach.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, turnip greens, and cauliflower produce a cancer-killing substance when cut or chewed. Sulforaphane and other substances produced upon cutting or chewing these veggies can shrink tumors, making them useful in protecting against prostate and colon cancers. However, eating them whole does not provide the benefits.
Curcumin is a bright yellow spice that has anti-inflammatory effects that can fight cancer. Curcumin can suppress inflammation, which is a factor in the development of all diseases, including cancer. It is best at reducing the risk of gastrointestinal and bladder cancers. Dried and powdered curcumin can be added to savory dishes to provide a little Indian flair with cancer protection.
Ginger is a popular spice known for reducing nausea, and it is also an excellent cancer preventative. Researchers have found that ginger can cause the death of cancer cells in two distinct ways: apoptosis and autophagy. Adding ginger to one’s diet is a no-brainer.
All berries contain high levels of phytonutrients, which provide protection against cancer. However, black raspberries are the best source of anthocyanins, a particular phytochemical that prevents cancer.