Cancer fighting food

Your diet can cause havoc on your health

Abreast of developments
Cancer fighting food

Following a low-fat diet is key, since studies link a high-fat diet to more aggressive forms of breast cancer. Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day will also promote breast health. Which foods are best? 

Broccoli

Number one on the list is broccoli. A real superfood when it comes to breast health. Broccoli’s isothiocyanates are the cancer fighters here, with the ability to break down breast cancer cells — specifically activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumors. 

Beta-Carotene-Loaded Foods

Too little beta-carotene has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Dietary antioxidants like carotenoids (beta-carotene is one) can neutralize free radicals (those damaging cells in your body), absorbing their negative energy and rendering them harmless. Choose from carrots, pumpkin, apricots and other bright orange fruits and vegetables.

Mushrooms

Eating a daily portion of mushrooms could cut the risk of breast cancer by up to two-thirds, according to research reported in the International Journal of Cancer. Scientists found that women consuming at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms every day were 64 percent less likely to develop a tumor (dried mushrooms were less protective but still effective). 

Red-Purple Cabbage

Red cabbage has chemicals called glucosinolates, which really help reduce breast cancer risk. Glucosinolates have the ability to block particularly dangerous substances that can cause cell damage and tumor growth, and they help eliminate carcinogens from the body. 

Garlic

Garlic is a great food for fighting breast cancer. With compounds called allyl sulfur, it reduces the risk of cancer cells in the body. You need to chop garlic and let it sit for 10 minutes before eating or cooking with it to allow the beneficial compounds to fully form.

Wild Salmon

Eating omega-3-rich fish like salmon has a host of benefits, from lowering risk of heart disease to reducing inflammatory effects on joints. Add to that protection against breast cancer. Opt for wild salmon over farmed. While farmed salmon contains the same tumor-fighting properties, it also contains cancer-causing chemicals, such as dioxin and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These toxic pollutants may counteract the beneficial effects of the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish and may increase risk of other diseases.

Vitamin D and Calcium

High levels of vitamin D and calcium may offer some protection against the most aggressive kinds of breast cancer, according to research. While the benefits are only in premenopausal women, the combo is beneficial for women of all ages (think osteoporosis). While vitamin D is often associated with milk, it can also be found in eggs, cod, shrimp and salmon. 

Red Grapes

Polyphenols, a category of phytonutrients found in red grapes, offer many health benefits. One kind in particular — resveratrol — has been identified as a cancer-preventive agent in breast cancer cell studies. Green grapes do not offer the same cancer-fighting nutrients. But don’t be a grape skin peeler! The polyphenols are most concentrated in the skins, stems and seeds of grapes.

Tomatoes

The carotenoid lycopene, found in tomatoes, inhibits tumors by hunting down and neutralizing free radicals, thus preventing oxidative damage to your cells. It’s the lycopene that gives tomatoes their reddish color.Tomato products like spaghetti sauce are the richest food sources of lycopene.

Berries

If you love berries, you’ll love this: A 2004 cell study investigated the specific effects of 10 different extracts of berries and found that berry extracts decreased the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The red to blue pigments found in berries are chock-full of flavonoids, which may contribute to their antioxidant power and ability to inhibit cancer cells.

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