21 Foods That Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

In this article we’ll talk about some foods that can help prevent or reduce the risk of cancer. Cancer is a complex, multi-faceted disease, but a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet, low stress and alcohol, and plenty of restful sleep is our best protection against cancer.

Diet is one of the most important factors in minimising our risk, but there’s no food that guarantees we won’t get cancer. Cancer Research UK says that a healthy and balanced diet can reduce cancer risk, partly through the effect of the diet itself, but mainly by helping to maintain a healthy weight. They also say that our overall diet, what we eat every day, is more important in reducing cancer risk than individual foods. So here are twenty foods you should include in your diet to stay as healthy as possible.

1. Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in the antioxidant polyphenols ellagic acid and ellagitannins, the latter of which are converted to ellagic acid by bacteria in our gut.

Studies show that ellagic acid helps prevent cancer in two ways: it can slow the growth of cancer cells and bind to cancer cells so that they become inactive and cannot continue to divide. The research is still in its infancy, but it’s very interesting nonetheless. Strawberries are also very rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin. As we’ve already noted with the antioxidant properties of carrots, antioxidants help neutralise free radicals that can damage our cells and DNA and cause certain types of cancer.

 

2. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce are good sources of the antioxidants beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A, and lutein, a pigment synthesised only by plants.

Research shows that the carotenoids found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach can act as antioxidants and boost the body’s antioxidant defences, which in turn can help prevent free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage cells in your body – from damaging DNA and causing cancer. Some laboratory studies have found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables may inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.

Here are some dark green leafy vegetables to include in your anti-cancer diet:
Kale, kohlrabi, spinach, collards, beet, watercress, romaine lettuce, chard, arugula, endive, bok choy and kohlrabi.

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