Many people dedicated have dedicated their lives to nutrition and healthy living—believe that focusing on nutrition rather than relying entirely on conventional cancer treatments could make all the difference in fighting the disease. One of the most basic and most powerful ways to reduce the risk of cancer is through diet and lifestyle. A diet rich in plant-based foods vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans can help prevent the onset of cancer.
While there’s no definitive answer to whether or not any food could directly prevent or treat cancer, there are some things we know for sure. Cancer cells thrive on sugar, and high insulin levels can also increase inflammatory responses in the body, which are a factor in the onset of cancer. Processed meat that contains nitrates can cause inflammation as well.
Here are some beneficial foods to start embracing into your daily life:
Spinach, kale, arugula, romaine, collard greens, Swiss chard—they all have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Carotenoids found in these veggies can inhibit the growth of certain breast and skin cancer cells.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and turnips are high in B vitamins and magnesium, as well as polyphenols, which can slow the growth of cancer cells, and since excess body fat can increase the risk of several types of cancer, the dietary fiber in these non-starchy vegetables can help, particularly with cancer in the mouth, pharynx and larynx, esophagus, and stomach.
In India, where turmeric is widely used in the diet, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers, colon, breast, prostate and lung is 10 times lower. The active substance in turmeric is curcumin, which can decrease inflammation and help the body detect and destroy mutated cells.
Whole ginger extract can inhibit growth of certain cancer cells by interrupting their cell-cycle progression, impairing cancer reproduction
This powerful medicinal mushroom has been researched for its ability to prevent cancer cell growth, stop tumor and cancer from metastasizing, [and] build immune strength and immune response against advanced stage cancers.
Probiotics like sauerkraut, kefir, and tempeh welcome beneficial microflora into the gut and regulate its pH balance, as well as maintain health of the digestive tract. The natural lactic acid and fermentative enzymes, which are produced during the fermentation process, have a beneficial effect on the metabolism and a curative effect on diseases like cancer.
Under this umbrella of foods are garlic, onions, scallions, leeks and chives, and studies show that the higher the intake, the greater the benefit. Garlic in particular has shown to slow or stop the growth of tumors in the prostate, bladder, colon, and stomach tissue, as well as protect against skin and lung cancer.
The high concentration of the omega-3 fat, alpha-linoleic acid, eases inflammation. Flaxseeds are also a potent source of magnesium, manganese, thiamin, and dietary fiber.
A polyphenol called resveratrol, abundant in the skin of grapes, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. AICR lab studies found that resveratrol could inhibit cancer and tumor growth in lymph nodes, the liver, stomach, and breasts, and it’s also been able to kill tumors from leukemia and colon cancer.
Research has found that eating tomatoes may help protect men from prostate cancer. The juicy red orbs can help guard the DNA in your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Tomatoes contain a particularly high concentration of an effective antioxidant called lycopene. Your body may absorb lycopene better from processed tomato foods such as sauce, which means that whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce could be a delicious way to help lower your risk of this disease
A healthy diet will go a long way, but cancer is no joke. Alternative treatments and protocols do exist, but radiation and chemotherapy are the most successful cancer treatments that medicine currently has to offer. So consider adding these nutritious foods as a way to boost the cancer treatment that’s right for you, but obviously consult your doctor when it comes to making a life-changing choices about how best to fight the disease.