Foods That Fight Cancer
As I’ve said before – no one food or food component will prevent or cure cancer by itself. Unfortunately, we do not have any miracle cures at this point. However, nutrition does play a role in cancer prevention, living with cancer and in promoting healthy survivorship.
How Do Plant Foods Prevent or Control Cancer?
Science suggests that the combination of nutrient dense foods in a mostly plant diet is beneficial in fighting cancer at various stages of growth. The vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in plant foods interact with each other in ways that make them more powerful than if you had them on their own.
This idea is called synergy – where the interaction of different nutrients actually multiply their beneficial effects. So 1 + 1 = 3 in this case!
Also, since vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are very high in these beneficial nutrients, but lower in calories, they actually protect against gaining weight. We call these foods nutrient dense because they’re so high in nutrients without lots of extra calories.
The alternative to nutrient dense is nutrient poor, calorie dense foods. These are the foods that provide you a lot of calories with very few beneficial nutrients. Probably the best example of a calorie dense food is soda. (FYI – diet soda would not be considered calorie dense, but it also does not provide you any beneficial nutrients).
Which Foods are the Best Cancer Fighters?
Science shows that eating mostly plant foods can help prevent weight gain and protect against cancers whose risk we know are linked to higher body fat, which include:
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer (in postmenopausal women)
I am often cautious about this information – I don’t want anyone blaming themselves or others for getting cancer. We don’t know exactly what causes someone’s cancer. Right now, all we know are “risk factors”, “links” and “contributing factors”.
There is no guarantee when it comes to cancer (we all know someone who has done everything right, and still gets cancer) – but you can put the odds in your favor!
Most Researched Cancer Fighting Foods
Here is a list of the foods with the most research regarding how they interact with cancer. In future posts, I’ll highlight each one and give you recipes on how you can fit them into your eating so that you can have a Cancer Fighting, Plant Based Diet!
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Grapes and Grape Juice
- Green Tea
- Whole Grains
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