At some point you have probably read a reference to “super foods” that can be eaten to help prevent cancer. However, most nutrition and cancer experts will tell you that no single food will prevent cancer.
Foods — and humans — are complex. Foods contain many chemicals. And, our interaction with the food we eat is not a simple, purified version of a chemical mixing with cells in a test tube.
“There are food groups and some specific foods that probably lower the risk of cancer,” says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Rommel Lu. “And, some elements in food can convincingly lower the risk of a specific type of cancer.”
ANTI-CANCER FOODS & SUBSTANCES
ANTIOXIDANTS are compounds that can block chemicals in the body, called free radicals, which damage cells and can lead to cancer. Foods that are high in antioxidants include:
SULFORAPHANE appears to impair cancer stem cells. The following vegetables contain this component:
RESERVATROL can, at best, cause cancer cells to self-destruct or slow their growth.
Some foods reportedly help prevent specific types of cancer:
FOODS TO AVOID
Research shows there are some foods that can increase your risk of cancer. Among those “bad” foods are:
Although researchers point out the benefits of certain foods, eating any one food isn’t likely to have a huge impact on your cancer prevention efforts.
A healthy diet, one that includes many of the anti-cancer foods, is the best way to keep your body and cells healthy.
An apple a day — along with some fish, nuts, whole grains, onions, grapes and broccoli – can help keep the doctor away.
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Sources include: McLeod Health, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Research Institute (UK), World Cancer Research Fund, AARP, American Institute for Cancer Research