Cancer happens when a cell stops functioning properly and mutates right down to its DNA. If the immune system doesn’t get to it, the mutant cell replicates locally, forming a tumor. If the tumor isn’t dealt with, the cancer can spread, or metastasize, to the rest of the body. One of your best bets to keeping this from happening is to eat an antioxidant, phytonutrient-rich diet that keeps your immune system strong and fights carcinogens, the substance that can cause cancer.
Here are 8 foods that do just that:
1. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. These green veggies are rich in folate, which plays a huge role in DNA repair. The contain chlorophyll which binds with (and eliminates) the carcinogens found in charred meat and cigarette smoke. And they contain indoles, phytonutrients that also help eliminate carcinogens and regulate estrogen. This means they can help with hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.
2 and 3. Coffee and Tea. Studies have linked these tasty beverages to a reduction in prostate and colon cancers. They’re both rich in antioxidants, chemicals that block free radicals. (Free radicals damage cells, potentially causing mutations.) One of the more controversial benefits of these drinks is that they both also contain caffeine. Say what you will about this stimulant, but it has been shown to inhibit cell growth, potentially reducing the risk of several cancer types, including ovarian cancer.
4. Mushrooms, especially shiitake, maitake, and reishi. These fantastic fungi have been shown to have antitumor properties. They contain a substance called lentinan, a polysaccharide thought to stimulate the immune system and attack cancer cells.
5. Oranges and other citrus. These fruit contain limonene, a substance shown to attack breast cancer cells. They’re a rich source of antioxidant vitamin C, which is believed to ward off several cancers, including lymphoma and liver cancer. They also contain phytonutrient bioflavonoids and phenolics, the latter which are believed to slow the aging process and protect against tumors.
6. Tomatoes. Whether you consider them fruits or veggies, they’re are a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant phytonutrient believed to ward off lung, bladder, stomach, cervix, skin and—most of all—prostate cancer. They also contain vitamin C. This is also one of those unusually times when processing is a good thing nutritionally. Cooked tomatoes, as well as tomato sauce and juice, all feature more absorbable lycopene.
7 and 8. Garlic and Onions. These two stinkers belong to the allium veggie group, which has been shown to slow cancer growth in the stomach, breast, esophagus, colon, and lung. They contain sulfur compounds, which fire up detoxification enzymes in your liver and clear out carcinogens. They also contain the anti-inflammatory phytonutrient quercetin, which is thought to kill cancer cells.
(Information provided by Denise Faye)
Cancer is such a scary thing!! My Grandpa passed away from cancer when I was a freshman in college and it was such a sad loss. I miss him EVERY day!! ~Kendra~