The food that you choose to eat can have a dramatic effect on your body. It can either increase or decrease your risk of developing disease – most of which are heavily influenced by diet.
There are several foods which research has shown to protect against cancer. They are delicious and easy to add to anyone’s diet – here are a few and they might already be on your list of favorites!
Have you heard of sulforaphane? Sulforaphane is an active plant nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli. Studies suggest that sulforaphane has anti-cancer characteristics. For instance, one study found that sulforaphane was able to decrease both the size and numbers of breast cancer cells by 75%. However, these results were only achieved in test-tubes. Although, animal research has confirmed these anti-cancer characteristics, finding that sulforaphane treatment reduces tumor volume by 50%. Meta-analyses have shown that individuals who consume more cruciferous vegetables have a decreased risk of both colorectal and colon cancer. There is a need for more research to investigate the impact of broccoli consumption on cancer in humans. Luckily for us, it’s not so hard to reap these anti-cancer benefits! Broccoli pairs well with almost any dish and is even a great snack alone.
A body of research has found that nuts are beneficial for reducing the risk of cancer-related as well as the risk of various types of cancer. For instance, a large study found that higher nut consumption reduced the risk of cancer-related death. A separate large study associated the regular consumption of nuts with reduced risk for colorectal, pancreatic and endometrial cancer.
Animal studies echo these findings, showing that nuts reduce cancer and tumor growth. Aim for 1 handful of nuts per day!
Garlic contains a plant nutrient called allicin, which also has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Test-tube studies have found that allicin is able to kill cancer cells. A large study investigating the relationship between garlic consumption and cancer in humans concluded that those who consume large amounts of allium vegetables – including garlic, onion and leeks – have a reduced risk for stomach cancer, when compared to those who have little to no intake. Garlic intake has also been associated with a decreased risk for prostate cancer. Try eating a clove of garlic a day to reap the benefits!
Research suggests that flaxseed may be able to kill cancer cells and reduce cancer growth. A small study found that women who consumed a daily flaxseed muffin for one month, had reduced markers of tumor growth and higher levels of cancer cell apoptosis or death, compared to those who did not eat the flax-rich muffins. Another study found that for those with prostate cancer, flaxseed reduced cancer metastasis and growth. Looking to give your smoothie or salad an anti-cancer boost? Add flaxseeds!
Have you heard of curcumin? It’s the active plant nutrient found in turmeric. Research suggests that curcumin has anticancer properties. Test-tube studies have shown that curcumin reduces colon cancer spread and slows cancer growth. A small study found that daily supplementation with curcumin resulted in a 40% reduction in precancerous lesions for patients at high risk of colon cancer. Add a teaspoon or two of ground turmeric to a stir-fry, smoothie, coffee or tea!
Empower your long-term health by choosing to eat healthy whole foods!