Cancer is one of the most feared diagnoses there is. We’ve all heard about people suffering and dying from this disorder. To combat cancer, it’s best to build a strong nutritional foundation that can support your bodily processes and increase resistance. Here are five cancer-fighting foods you should start eating as soon as possible.
The adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be a bit of hype, but it’s partly supported by modern science. Apples are a good source of vitamins C, K, B6, and riboflavin, as well as potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Research has also shown that apples contain a substance called quercetin that helps protect DNA from mutations that lead to cancer. To get the most benefit, focus on red apples, eaten raw and with the skin still on.
Think of orange-colored fruits. These are rich in both Vitamin C for strengthening the immune system and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, or anti-oxidants, specifically the carotenoid nutrients associated with the plant pigments providing these colors. Beta-carotene, for instance, is also important to the immune system and supporting the liver’s detoxification functions.
In addition to being a low-fat, high-fiber food rich in nutrients, berries also contain anti-oxidants. Darker berries in particular will contain a relatively high amount of benzoic acids, which some studies show can inhibit lung, breast, and colon cancer, as well as some forms of leukemia, by actually killing cancer cells. Berries to integrate into your diet include fresh, raw blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries.
Leafy greens like kale and spinach contain vitamins A, C, E, and K, while cruciferous greens like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are rich in B vitamins. All are high-fiber and low sugar. People with a diet high in greens show lower rates of prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. Kale, for one, is considered a super-food that also includes compounds called indoles, which stimulate liver function and help fight cancer.
You’ve probably heard about lowering your intake of fats and sugars to combat obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. What most people don’t know is that cancer cells also thrive on glucose and complex carbohydrates. By severely limiting these in your diet, you’re starving the cancer cells. Talk to a physician or nutritionist at a local healthcare clinic like Tri-County Health Care to find out specifically what foods you should avoid and what supplements you can use to improve your nutrition.
Your plan for beating cancer should include giving your body the right tools to fight and survive. As soon as possible, cut out the junk foods and make cancer-fighters a staple of your diet.