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Eat It Away: The Best Foods That Prevent Cancer

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

2 min read

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With over 200 types, cancer is the leading cause of death every year in billions of people worldwide. Cancer diagnosis has been attributed, in part, to genetics, toxin exposure and poor, nutrient deficient diets. While you can’t battle genetics, a healthy diet rich in the following foods that prevent cancer mmay help you avoid this awful disease:

1- Garlic and Onion:

Leaving peeled and chopped garlic for 15-20 minutes before cooking releases the Sulphur-containing compounds, also responsible for the characteristic sharp stench, which stimulate the immune system for cancer defense and destroys the stomach cancer-causing H. pylori bacteria as well as accelerate DNA repair. Abundantly eating raw or lightly cooked onions may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 50%.

2- Leafy Green Vegetables:

Vegetables such as lettuce and spinach contain Glucosinolates that kill cancer cells and prevent tumor formation and metastasis. Their decomposition into Thiocyanates and Isothiocyanates, compounds that prevent cancerous growth, during digestion reduces the risk of lung, colon and stomach cancer by detoxifying the body cells. They are also rich in famous cancer fighting antioxidants: Vitamin-C and Beta-carotene.

3- Berries:

Regular consumption has been proven to reduce cancer risk by neutralizing the cell-damaging free radicals due to high natural antioxidant content. In addition to the high vitamins A and C content, Goji berries-abundant in desert areas within Pakistan-and mulberries are efficient immunity boosters when eaten in dried or powdered form, whereas sour cherries contain the powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen (inhibiting cancer development), Quercetin.

4- Cruciferous Vegetables such as Broccoli and Cabbage:

While all members of this category contain isothiocyanates and protect against cancers of the head, neck, esophagus and stomach, the sulforaphanes in broccoli defend the DNA structure by stimulating the related detoxifying enzymes. Furthermore, cabbages accelerate estrogen hormone metabolism, reducing breast cancer risk by approximately 45% with regular consumption. High flavonoid content also prevents tumor growth. According to a number of studies, sulforaphane drastically reduces the chances of cancer or tumors although there has been little research on the direct link between broccoli and cancer.

5- Herbs and Spices:

The Curcumin in Turmeric shrinks tumors and fights breast and colon cancer, whose effects are enhanced when paired with black pepper; whereas ginger consumption has been linked to the elimination of ovarian cancer-causing cells, reducing colon inflammation and has shown decreased tumor growth in laboratory tests. Cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, oregano and thyme also strengthen the immune system and fight cancer. Cinnamon in particular has been linked with a reduction in the growth of cancer cells. Some test tube studies have shown that it has certain anti-cancer properties and may help prevent the growth of tumors. These can be used alongside many other foods that prevent cancer.

6- Wild-caught Fish:

The famous Omega-3 in salmon, sardines and other fish, is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent which prevents cancer and aids in chemotherapy induced side-effects by preserving muscle mass and reducing inflammation. Research has also correlated the regular consumption of fish with reduced chances of leukemia, myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma development.

7- Bright Orange Fruits and Vegetables:

Carrots, beets and sweet potatoes prevent cancers of the upper digestive tract, whereas the carotenoids-particularly beta-carotene-in most citrus fruits, pumpkins, squashes and sweet potatoes improve immune system functioning, liver health and prevent skin, eye and organ cancers. Additionally, sweet potato consumption in women under 50 has also been linked to a halved diagnosis of breast cancer. The lutein and zeaxanthin, responsible for the bright pigmentation, protect healthy cells by filtering blue-wavelength light waves.

8- Beans:

Beans are very high in fiber, which is not only good for you, but may also reduce chances of colorectal cancer. Most of the studies on beans and cancer have been limited to animals but the results do seem promising. Eating beans just a few times a week may go a long way when it comes to cancer prevention.

9- Olive Oil:

Olive oil has numerous health benefits and is used all over the world. Recently scientists have found that it may also have anti-cancerous properties, with a collection of 19 studies finding that people who consumed the most olive oil were at the lowest risk of developing breast cancer or cancer in their digestive systems. This one is very easy to add to your diet as all you will have to do is swap out whatever oil you are already using with olive oil, or just drizzle it on top of whatever you were already eating. You can add it to other foods that prevent cancer for double the effects.

While a healthy diet is beneficial, regular exercise is also an integral part of the anti-cancer regime. Consult with a professional to see which foods-and exercises-are right for you. Book an Appointment with a top Dietician in Karachi, Lahore and Multan through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your oncological dietary needs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a Dietitian practicing in Lahore. Ms. Ayesha Nasir has the following degrees: M.Phil Food and Nutrition, B.S Home Economics and has 5 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Ms. Ayesha Nasir by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button. Ms. Ayesha believes that a healthy diet is more than half of what constitutes good physical health.
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