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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anti-Cancer Foods

Hearing about the 6 letter word (CANCER) sends shivers down the spine. Isn't it? However, did you know that the easiest way to prevent or substantially minimize the risk of cancer is to have anti-cancer foods on a daily basis. Basically these health enhancing foods contain chemicals or compounds known as phytochemicals that can play a very important role in preventing cancerous growth. No wonder, these foods that are jam packed with phytochemicals display amazing cancer fighting abilities.

List of Anti-Cancer Foods

The good news about anti-cancer foods is that they are easily available and unlike anti-cancer drugs or therapy, they do not dig a deep hole into your pocket. Some of the most effective foods that fight cancer are given below:

Fruits 
When we are talking about anti-cancer foods, it would be foolish not to mention about fruits like oranges, apples and berries. Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C, a well known phytochemical. Thus, it won't be wrong to say that eating oranges daily can keep cancer miles away. Breast cancer patients are also advised to eat oranges as they are rich in limonoids (yet another phytochemical) that also shows anti-cancer properties. As aforementioned, berries such as strawberries, cranberries, acai berries and blueberries also contain phytochemicals in ample amounts. Studies have revealed that blueberries help to reduce the size of cancer tumors. In yet another study, it was found that berries could restrict colon cancer cells from multiplying and spreading to nearby tissues. This shows that berries, especially blueberries act as excellent anti-cancer agents and can play a significant role to protect the body from colon cancer.

Vegetables
Vegetables that include spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli as well as cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts also come in anti-cancer foods list. These vegetable assist to maintain good health, provide anti-inflammatory properties and also are a good source of antioxidants that show anti-cancer activity. Carrots and broccoli contain a wide range of cancer fighting compounds that help to shrink tumor size. Indeed, these vegetables act as a powerful weapon to prevent and cut the chances of cancer growth. Research even suggest that including steamed or raw broccoli in the diet could reverse the damage caused by cancer cells.

Herbs
Herbs like garlic can go a long way in preventing cancer. Anti-cancer foods list is certainly incomplete without mentioning garlic in it. Various studies have revealed that garlic does posses anti-cancer properties and is extremely effective to restrict cancer. Studies have unearthed a link between garlic and cancer prevention. The main ingredient in garlic, ally sulfur shows anti-cancer abilities and can be instrumental in keeping stomach and prostate cancer in check. Although more studies are needed, initial research does indicate that it can lower the chances of cancer development. Turmeric is yet another herb that is commonly added to curries which has shown the ability to destroy cancer cells. Doctors believe that a teaspoon of turmeric everyday and dreaded diseases like cancer won't have the guts to come in your way.

Brazil Nuts
Eating Brazil nuts can also contribute to keep cancer away. An active ingredient of Brazil nuts is selenium which is proved to be an effective anti-cancer medicine. The anti-cancer effects of selenium make Brazil nuts as one of the best anti-cancer foods. Patients can eat Brazil nuts (in moderation) to slow down the development of cancer.



Whole Grain Foods
Whole grain foods are rich in antioxidants and in mineral selenium and therefore can substantially reduce the chances of falling prey to colorectal and breast cancer. Thus, whole grain foods like oatmeal, wheat bread, brown rice and whole grain breakfast cereals need to be added in anti-cancer diet for lowering cancer risks.



Anti-Cancer Diet

The general rule of thumb is that a diet is considered to be healthy when it is low in fats. Anti-cancer diet is no different from a healthy diet. To be precise foodstuffs, high in saturated fats like junk foods (hamburgers, doughnut), fried foods (French fries, hot dog) and processed foods (chips, cakes) have no place in an anti-cancer diet. Cancer chemotherapy diet also involves eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. Recent studies also suggest that the people following a vegetarian diet decrease their chances of getting any type of cancer. So, reducing intake of meat (avoid red meat) and preferring lean cuts of meat, works to 'cut down' cancer risk. On the whole, a diet high in proteins and low in fats improves immunity and keeps health in good condition. When it comes to cooking oil, followers of anti-cancer diet recommend olive oil as it is a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids (healthy fats).

There is no doubt that cancer is a dreaded disease but the point is, it can be easily prevented. All one has to do is follow a well balanced healthy diet high in vegetables and fruits mentioned above. However, simply eating anti-cancer foods won't work unless one gets rid of bad habits like smoking and alcoholism to supplement the cancer treatment. Studies show that the smoke from cigarette carry carcinogens, which pollute the blood and increase the risk of lung cancer. Overall, leading a cancer free lifestyle means focusing on healthy diet, remaining physically active and abstinence from smoking.

By Nicks J

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