It seems just about everything causes cancer. Building materials, hair dye, gas stations, air pollution...you name it. This makes the world around us seem pretty dreary. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and that includes the beautiful outdoors. So while it may seem as though carcinogens are all around us, there are ways we can protect ourselves. We can wear sunscreen and Sundriven® UV wear when we're outside. We can exercise. We can take care of our bodies and we can eat healthy foods.
For now, let's focus on food and some that doctors and scientists believe may help prevent cancer. And remember, no food can stop cancer in its tracks or prevent it entirely. However, there are some foods that research shows have cancer-fighting properties.
Some studies have shown that garlic may help reduce the chances of cancer in digestive organs, like the colon or esophagus. How? Scientists believe either keep cancer-causing substances from working or they help prevent cancer cells from multiplying. While there is no hard rule about how much garlic you need to eat, many suggest a clove a day.
Out of all vegetables and fruits, berries are believed to be the best at reducing cancer risks. Berries have so many incredible benefits, due to their high level of antioxidants. In particular, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are believed to have the highest potential to ward off cancer, largely due to an antioxidant known as pterostilbene.
Sweet potatoes (or any veggie high in beta-carotene) has shown to reduce risk of cancer in the colon, breast, and lungs. If you aren't a fan of sweet potatoes, look for leafy greens and other orange veggies with beta-carotene, folate, fiber, and vitamin C.
This is another item that contains a lot of antioxidants. Green tea has an antioxidant called catechins, which is believed to prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Some studies show that catechins can even reduce tumor cell growth and shrink tumors.
This healthy fish is rich in vitamin D, a rarity in many foods other than dairy products. Scientists believe that vitamin D can block some development of blood vessels that feed growing tumors. Studies also show that low vitamin D levels are linked to colon and breast cancer, among other types. If you don't like salmon or dairy, consider a vitamin D supplement with at least 800 IUs of vitamin D3.
Typically used in Indian dishes, tumeric is a spice in curry powder. The active ingredient, curcumin, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Based on studies using lab animals, this ingredient has helped prevent breast, colon, liver, stomach, and lung cancer.
You knew this would be on the list. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and dark leafy greens are all believed to be helpful in preventing cancer, mainly due to their ability to protect you from free radicals. Free radicals are what can damage the DNA of your cells. The specific phytonutrient in these veggies believed to be most beneficial is glucosinolates. Scientists believe these can hinder the metabolism of certain carcinogens and increase the production of detoxification enzymes.