Foods that fight cancer

Discover ways you can help prevent and fight cancer by making healthier food choices.

By Richard Beliveau and Denis Gingras

Foods that prevent cancer
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Approximately one-third of all cancers are directly related to diet. To help prevent cancer, try making some of these foods that fight cancer a regular part of your diet.

• A diet containing three or four weekly servings of broccoli, nothing too excessive, was shown to be sufficient to protect individuals from colon polyps.

Cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale) should be lightly cooked and thoroughly chewed when eaten in order to fully benefit from their anti-cancer potential. Chewing releases the active molecules.

• Freshly crushed garlic is by far the best source of anti-cancer compounds and should be preferred over supplements.

• The key to benefiting from the anti-cancer effects of soy lies in consuming about 50 grams per day of the whole food, such as raw (edamame) or dry roasted soybeans. Supplements containing isoflavones are not an acceptable alternative to the whole food and should be avoided.

• Colon cancer appears to be one of the cancers on which curcumin may have the greatest positive impact. The daily addition of a teaspoon of turmeric to soups, salad dressings, or pasta dishes is a simple way of providing curcumin intake sufficient to prevent the development of cancer.

Green tea contains large amounts of catechins, compounds that boast many anti-cancer properties. To maximize the preventative effects afforded by tea, select Japanese green teas, allow for an eight-to-10-minute brewing period and always drink freshly brewed tea, avoiding Thermoses.

Eating cranberries should be preferred over drinking cranberry juice.

• The best way to increase omega-3 levels in diet is to eat fatty fish (wild salmon, sardines, and mackerel) once or twice a week or add one tablespoon of freshly milled flaxseeds to your breakfast cereal.

• Eating two tomato sauce-based meals per week may lower your risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 25 per cent.

Citrus fruits are essential foods in cancer prevention: for their capacity to act directly on cancerous cells as well as their potential for enhancing the anti-cancer effects of other phytochemical compounds present in diet.

• The resveratrol present in red wine possesses powerful anti-cancer activity, which may be responsible for the beneficial effects of wine on the prevention of certain cancers. Grape juice and cranberry juice contain resveratrol but at levels 10 times less than red wine.

• The daily consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate (chocolate containing 70 per cent cocoa mass) may have definite health benefits and should replace or reduce that of sugar- and fat-filled candies with no phytochemical content.

• Many herbs and spices used as seasonings, in particular ginger, contain large quantities of molecules that act as anti-inflammatory compounds, which also reduce the risks of developing certain chronic diseases.

• Instead of replacing butter with margarine, use olive oil as much as possible as a source of dietary fat; you will benefit from its healthful lipids knowing that it also possesses anti-cancer properties of its own.

Learn about easy ways to get more fruit and veggies into your diet.



Excerpted from Foods That Fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer through Diet by Richard Béliveau and Denis Gingras. Copyright 2006 by Richard Béliveau and Denis Gingras. Excerpted by permission of McClelland & Stewart. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

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