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      Top 13 cancer-fighting foods to add to your diet
      05/08/2020 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
      Top 13 cancer-fighting foods to add to your diet

      Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, as per the World Health Organization. As a matter of fact, one in six deaths is due to cancer.

      But despite its high mortality rate, cancer can be prevented if you live a healthy lifestyle that involves good nutrition and regular exercise. And if?you already have cancer, a balanced diet can still help minimize its effects on the body and help you eliminate cancer cells and tumors over time in the most non-invasive way possible.

      Here are 13 foods that contain naturally occurring compounds with potent anti-cancer properties.

      Broccoli

      Like many cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains sulforaphane, a sulfur-rich plant compound that can inhibit cancer cell growth and induce programmed cell death in tumors. Sulforaphane has also been observed to inhibit histone deacetylase, an enzyme that is linked to cancer development.

      Carrots

      Bright vegetables like carrots are excellent sources of antioxidants including beta-carotene and lycopene. Carrots, in particular, contain high concentrations of beta-carotene, which is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.

      Beans

      Beans are clean and healthy sources of high-quality protein and dietary fiber. Aside from its role in digestion, fiber also plays a part in cancer prevention. Extensive cancer studies show that high legume consumption protects against colorectal tumors and colon cancer.

      Berries

      Many varieties of berries contain high amounts of plant compounds known as anthocyanins, which help prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. If left unchecked, free radicals can also damage DNA, which is the first step of the cancer development process.

      Cinnamon

      Cinnamon is typically used to flavor herbal teas and dishes, but this popular spice can also help prevent the spread of cancer cells. Experts believe that the cinnamon’s anti-cancer activities are linked to the spice’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

      Nuts

      Fiber-rich foods like nuts guard against inflammation in the gut, which increases the risk of colon cancer. Additionally, nuts like Brazil nuts and walnuts are rich in selenium,?a trace mineral associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer and breast cancer.

      Olive oil

      Healthy oils like olive oil, especially the extra virgin variety, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that can prevent the spread of breast cancer cells. A high intake of olive oil is also associated with a lower risk of colon cancer.

      Turmeric

      Curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric, has anti-cancer activities that target colon cancer cells. It can also heal lesions along the gastrointestinal walls, which can eventually become cancerous.

      Citrus fruits

      A diet rich in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit is associated with a lower risk of cancers, especially those of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Thanks to high levels of vitamin C, citrus fruits can also minimize the risk of pancreatic cancer.

      Flaxseed

      High in fiber and heart-healthy fats, flaxseed can help inhibit tumor growth and eliminate cancer cells. In particular, high flaxseed intake is linked to a lower risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.

      Tomatoes

      Lycopene, a plant compound mainly found in tomatoes, is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the ability of immune cells to prevent cancer cell growth in the prostate gland.

      Garlic

      Active plant compounds like allicin, alliin and ajoene make garlic a potent cancer-fighting food. This bulb vegetable boasts antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can eliminate tumors. Plus, garlic can help repair damaged DNA caused by cancer cells.

      Fatty fishes

      Fatty fishes like salmon, herring and sardines provide omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D that ward off cancer cells and prevent the growth of tumors. Research suggests that regular consumption of fatty fishes is linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer and colon cancer.

      No foods prevent cancer completely. That being said, nutrient-rich foods help enhance the body’s immune system and protect against abnormal cancer cells. Therefore, the?more cancer-fighting foods you eat, the lower your risk of cancer.

      Sources:

      WHO.int

      Healthline.com

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