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Foods That Will Help Fight Cancer

Updated on December 13, 2007

As many as one-third of all cancer deaths each year are attributed to a poor diet. If you change the way you eat, you will lower your chance of getting cancer in the first place. If you've already had cancer, and are in remission, these eating tips will surely decrease your likelihood of a recurrence.

To fight cancer, consume foods that are rich in antioxidants. These trap and absorb free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that form when cells burn off energy during normal metabolism. Left unchecked, these free radicals can damage cells and lead to cancer.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

Start by eating more fruits and vegetables. Many of these garden foods contain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium, all of which act as antioxidants.

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts have all been shown to lessen initial cancer and recurrence of same.

Garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots block carcinogens with organosulfides. These are the chemicals that give these vegetables their pungent odor.

Tomatoes, if cooked into a sauce, provide an excellent source of lycopene, which has been shown to cut the risk of stomach, bladder, colon, and prostate cancer.

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes get their rich deep color from anthocyanins, which are chemicals that can neutralize carcinogens.

Citrus fruits are rich in limonene, which seems to stimulate your immune system to fight cancer cells.

2. Beans, Nuts and Legumes

You should also eat plenty of grains and legumes. Beans, nuts, and whole-grain breads and cereals can shield you from pancreatic and stomach cancer. They contain a rich supply of fiber to speed waste out of the body, which lowers the time for harmful substances to damage cells lining your digestive system. Soybeans are also a great weapon to have in your anticancer arsenal.

3. Fish and Fish Oils

A 2004 study in Sweden showed that women who consumed at least one portion of fatty fish each week during the study period had a reduced risk of kidney cancer of 74% when compared to those who ate no fatty fish.

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, striped bass, tuna and herring are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids have proven effective in fighting breast cancer, colon cancer, and different types of Lymphoma. Other studies suggest that consumption of Omega 3s also increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

There is a debate in the scientific community as to the effectiveness of fish oil supplements, so the best plan of action is to eat two or three servings per week of the above-referenced types of cold water, fatty fish.

4. Green or White Tea

Green tea and white tea have cancer-fighting properties, and have been shown to be effective in preventing cancer of the breast, colon, prostate and stomach. Each also contains enough caffeine to give you that needed lift every once in a while. Try replacing coffee with one of these two kinds of teas.

This Stuff Tastes Great, But Too Much Can Kill You

5. Cut Back on Fats and Processed Foods

High-fat diets have been linked to increased risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer. You should get less than 30 percent of your daily calories from fat. Cut down on saturated fat, the kind that hardens at room temperature and is found in animal products like red meat and butter.

Don't eat too many processed meats sparingly. Lunch meats and hot dogs contain nitrates and nitrites, which are preservatives have been linked to cancer of the esophagus and stomach.

Also, limit your intake of foods that are cooked on a charcoal barbeque. As great as this stuff tastes, cooking on charcoal will leave carcinogens in your food. One way to limit carcinogens is to reduce cooking time on the grill by first thawing the meat or partly cooking it in the microwave

If you've never had cancer but are prone to eating a lot of saturated fat, refined sugars, salt and processed meats, try replacing one serving per week of that dangerous food with one serving of these healthy foods. Switch one serving per week, and in time, you will be eating a diet rich in cancer-fighting foods.

For those of you kie me, who are either actively suffering from cancer, or are in a stte of remission, make these changes very quickly. I've been in remission for almost two years now, and I attribute that to a healthy dies rich in fruits and veggies, fish and whole grains, and low in sugar, salt and saturated fat.


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    • profile image

      Russell Ray 

      11 years ago

      I'll neverforget the day my brother called me and told me he had cancer, never.

      That same day he told me "I'm Superman and I'll conquer cancer"

      True story

      I love you brother

    • gabriella05 profile image


      11 years ago from Oldham

      Hi James, that is a great hub that you have just created it as lots of good information and lots of good food

      Thank you very much

    • JamesRay profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks, Earth Angel!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      11 years ago

      Another GREAT Hub James!! I keep a pot of RAW soup ready with most of your suggestions above!! Tomato based with tons of organic veggie's, grains and legumes!! I just heat a bowl at a time so the soup doesn't get over cooked!! Again, GREAT Hub, Thanks for sharing!! Earth Angel!!


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