All the studies on cancer and nutrition point to eating plant-based foods for their phytonutrients and other special compounds.
Aim for five to nine daily servings of all kinds of fruits and vegetables especially these six superstars.
All cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage and kale contain cancer-fighting properties, but broccoli is the only one with a sizable amount of sulforaphane, a particularly potent compound that boosts the body’s protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals. Sulforaphane also targets cancer stem cells which aid in tumor growth.
Helps fight: breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers
Most of the berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. But black raspberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which slow down the growth of premalignant cells and keep new blood vessels from forming and potentially feeding a cancerous tumor. Try a half-cup serving of berries a day.
Helps fight: colon, esophageal, oral, and skin cancers
This juicy fruit is the best dietary source of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue, and because lycopene was found to stop endometrial cancer cell growth. The biggest benefits come from cooked tomatoes , since the heating process increases the amount of lycopene your body is able to absorb.
Helps fight: endometrial, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers
Their phytosterols (cholesterol-like molecules found in plants) have been shown to block estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, possibly slowing the cells’ growth. Try munching on an ounce of walnuts a day.
Helps fight: breast and prostate cancers
Phytochemicals in garlic have been found to halt the formation of nitrosamines, carcinogens formed in the stomach (and in the intestines, in certain conditions) when you consume nitrates, a common food preservativer.
Chop a clove of fresh, crushed garlic (crushing helps release beneficial enzymes), and sprinkle it into that lycopene-rich tomato sauce while it simmers.
Helps fight: breast, colon, esophageal, and stomach cancers
Black and navy beans are been found to reduce colon cancer incidence significantly, because a diet rich in the legumes increase levels of the fatty acid butyrate, which in high concentrations has protective effects against cancer growth. Dried beans are found to be particularly effective in preventing breast cancer in rats as well.
Try adding a serving—a half-cup—of legumes a few times a week to your usual rotation of greens or other veggies.
Helps fight: breast and colon cancers
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