5 Superfoods That Combat Cancer
Here are some superfoods to protect the body from one of world’s most deadly disease.
Tomatoes are high in antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes can help protect our DNA from damage that can lead to breast, endometrial, lung, stomach, prostate and renal cell carcinoma cancers, according to researchers.
Since the heating process increases the amount of lycopene the body is able to absorb, adding organic sautéed tomatoes or an organic tomato sauce to omelets, chicken and pasta dishes is a smart move.
It may be pricier, but going organic ensures your tomatoes are free of carcinogenic pesticide residue. For even more protection, opt for orange tomatoes instead of the typical red.
According to Ohio State University researchers, people absorb 2.5 times more lycopene from cooked orange tomatoes than from the red plum variety.
Berries—such as cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries—contain powerful tumor-blocking compounds (like phenolic acids, glycosides and anthocyanins) and antioxidants (like ellagic acid) that can slow the reproduction of cancer cells and stop free radicals from damaging cells. Consuming the fruit is especially effective at warding off colon, prostate and esophageal cancers, studies have found.
Leafy greens are highly concentrated in disease-fighting chemicals and nutrients that block larynx, mouth, lung, breast, skin and stomach cancer cells, spinach, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce are all great greens to add your diet.
Although each of these veggies deserve a place on your plate, spinach should definitely be your go-to if you have to pick just one—especially if you’re a fan of red meat. Why? Popeye’s go-to green contains compounds that can actually block the carcinogenic organic compound PhIP, which is abundant in cooked red meat, say Oregon State University researchers.
They may be small, but they pack a huge disease-fighting punch. Walnuts contain a vitamin called gamma tocopherol that stops the activation of Akt—an enzyme that is essential for cancer cell survival—without harming healthy cells.
The nut also contains cholesterol-like molecules called phytosterols that slow the growth of breast cancer cells by blocking estrogen receptors.
Additional pools of academic wisdom say walnuts can help ward off prostate, lung and colorectal cancers, so you should definitely find a way to work the mighty nuts into your diet.
Whole Grain Cereals
While a sugary cereal can work against your health, filling your breakfast bowl with a fiber- and folic acid-rich variety can have the opposite effect. Research suggests that for every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily, a woman’s breast cancer risk decreases by 7 percent, while consuming the recommended daily allowance of folate can ward off DNA mutations and cut male smoker’s pancreatic cancer risk in half.