Are You Eating Enough Cancer-Fighting Fruit and Vegetables Every Day?
Cancer is a type of disease that has been affecting millions of people around the world.
Cancer is actually a term that refers to uncontrolled cell division that leads to abnormal cell growth or tumour. When abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, they can invade nearby tissues and spared to other parts of the body, including the blood and lymphatic systems.
Frequent exposure to inflammatory foods that causes free radical damage in our bodies may increase the risk of cancers. Adopting a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients would be beneficial in providing the nutrients that the body needs to fight against cancers.
Food as medicine
New research focused on the use of whole foods as medicine have made fascinating discoveries over the last few decades. Many studies show that there are many types of fruit and vegetables available in your local market are packed with cancer-fighting properties and may help relieve your symptoms and prevent the further spread of tumours throughout your body.
Brussels sprouts contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates, which activate cancer-fighting enzyme systems in the body. They also have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, useful for fighting both chronic oxidative stress and inflammation.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a plant compound found in cruciferous vegetables that may have potent anticancer properties. Naturally anti-inflammatory, good for your bones and heart, and nutrient dense (without the calories), broccoli is a great addition to a healthy eating plan.
Researchers have discovered that sulforaphane in cabbage has the power to inhibit the harmful enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells. The ability to stop HDAC enzymes could make sulforaphane-containing foods a potentially powerful part of cancer treatment.
Kale and other cruciferous veggies contain potential cancer fighters such as glucosinolates, crambene and indole-3-carbinol that are powerful phytochemicals in fighting against cancer.
Legumes (all types of beans, lentils and peas) are high in fibre, which may be protective against colorectal cancer. Human and animal studies have found that a higher intake of beans could reduce the risk of colorectal tumours and colon cancer. Top salads with lentils and peas, cook up lentil or pea soup or add pea pods to your stir-fry.
Try incorporating carrots into your diet as a healthy snack or delicious side dish just a few times per week to increase your intake and potentially reduce your risk of cancer.
Garlic is an anti-cancer vegetable. But not just garlic, almost all vegetables from the Allium and Cruciferous families completely stopped growth in the various cancers tested.
Berries are high in anthocyanins, plant pigments that have antioxidant properties and may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer. In one human study, 25 people with colorectal cancer were treated with bilberry extract for seven days, which was found to reduce the growth of cancer cells by 7%. They contain polyphenols, including ellagic acid and anthocyanins – antioxidants that counteract, reduce and repair damage to cells.
Lycopene is a compound found in tomatoes that is responsible for its vibrant red colour as well as its anticancer properties. Several studies have found that an increased intake of lycopene and tomatoes could lead to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
There are many more cancer-fighting foods that we’re going to explore but these 10 fruit and vegetables are a great place to start. Always choose seasonal fruit and vegetables and go organic whenever possible.