Apples to Whole Grain: why and how these 17 foods fight cancer

Only 5 to 10 percent of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects. The remaining 90 – 95 percent have their roots in environment and lifestyle.

In the research article, “Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes,” doctors noted that cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat) alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity and physical inactivity are lifestyle factors that cause cancer.

Cancer prevention, therefore, requires quitting smoking, increased ingestion of fruits and vegetables, moderate use of alcohol, caloric restriction, exercise, avoiding direct exposure to sunlight, minimal meat consumption, use of whole grains, vaccinations, and regular check-ups.

The American Institute for Cancer Research keeps track of research on foods that have been proven to help and may help in the fight against cancer. Antioxidants and vitamins are what nutritionists and scientists seek while researching cancer preventing foods.

Apples: a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Most of its antioxidant power come from phytochemicals (quercetin, flavonoids, and triterpenoids found in the apple’s peel).

Blueberries: Vitamins C, K, manganese anda good source of dietary fiber with lots of phytochemicals.

Broccoli and Cruciferous vegetables (dark leafy veggies like kale and collard greens): Vitamin C and good sources of manganese, Vitamin K, folate (a B vitamin), dietary fiber, magnesium, carotenoids (beta-carotene) and various polyphenols.

Cherries: good source of fiber and Vitamin C and potassium. High antioxidant content. Frozen and canned cherries don’t have the high antioxidant content that cherry juice, dried cherries and fresh cherries have, but still the amount remains significant.

Coffee: Overall, coffee is a good source of the B vitamin riboflavin, and is also a concentrated source of antioxidant phytochemicals. But what coffee drinkers get with each cup of coffee depends on how the beans are grown and how the coffee is prepared.

Cranberries: Good sources of vitamin C and dietary fiber and very high in antioxidant power.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of carotenoids. Carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx by acting as antioxidants.

Dry Beans and Peas (Legumes): dry beans and peas contain 20% of fiber’s daily value and they are a good source of protein (10% of daily value). Excellent source of folate (a B vitamin) and folate foods help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer because of folate’s role in healthy cell division and repair of damaged cells.

Flaxseed has long been used for its nutritional and medicinal purposes. Excellent source of magnesium, manganese, thiamin and fiber. good source of selenium; and provides protein and copper, too. Flaxseed oil provides alpha-linolenic acid and both alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, two forms of vitamin E.

Garlic: for cancer protection, American Institute of Cancer Research experts suggest including garlic as part of a well balanced predominantly plant-based diet. Garlic belongs to the allium family of vegetables which probably protect against stomach cancer and garlic in particular probably decreases one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.

Grapefruit: contains phytochemicals, but can interfere with the activity of some medicines both prescription and non prescription. Excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber.

Grapes and Grape Juice: both rich in resveratrol a type of natural phytochemicals. Polyphenols, the much larger group of phytochemicals present in grapes posess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Laboratory research found that resveratrol slows the growth of cancer cells and inhibits the formation of tumors in lymph, liver, stomach and breast cells. Resveratrol has also triggered the death of leukemic and colon cancer tumors. In one series of studies, resveratrol blocked the development of skin, breast and leukemia cancers at all three stages of the disease (initiation, promotion and progression).

Green Tea: contains “potent” antioxidants polyphenols and flavonoids. Lowers risk for bladder, colon, stomach, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers. Also has been shown to interact with drugs that affect blood clotting such as aspirin and the way the body metabolizes certain medications.

Soy: (tofu, tempeh, edameme, soymilk and miso) Soy is one of the few plants with all the amino acids the body needs to make proteins. Good source of polyunsaturated fat, both omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha linolenic) types.

Squash: excellent sources of vitamin A, good sources of vitamin C and dietary fiber. They are also a good way to get potassium.

Tomatoes:contain phytochemical called lycopene. Tomatoes have attracted particular attention from prostate cancer researchers because lycopene and its related compounds tend to concentrate in tissues of the prostate. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, together with a group of related compounds collectively called the “red family,” has displayed anti-cancer potential in a variety of laboratory studies. In the laboratory, tomato components have stopped the proliferation of several other cancer cells types, including breast, lung, and endometrial.

Whole Grains: rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and hundreds of natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals, which protect cells from the types of damage that may lead to cancer. In addition research points to specific substances in whole grains that have been linked to lower cancer risk, including antioxidants,phenols, lignans (which is a kind of phytoestrogen) and saponins.

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