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How to prevent cancer with diet and exercise

Updated on October 15, 2010
Don't end up here before it's your time
Don't end up here before it's your time

What doesn't cause cancer?

It seems like every time I turn on the news, I find out something I use or eat every day is increasing my chances of getting cancer. Just about everything seems to cause cancer, from too much fat in the diet to that new car smell that everyone loves (it's actually harmful chemicals from the plastics and glues in the car).

With all the dangers that surround us, what are some ways that we can reduce our chances of getting cancer? Well, there are a number of foods you should be eating regularly that will help make sure you die from a hang-gliding accident at the age of 107 instead of cancer at the age of 42.   

Foods that help fight cancer

There are a number of foods that have been shown to fight off cancer. We'll start with the basics. Anything high in fiber is going to help decrease cancers that form in the digestive tract. Fiber is like a toothbrush going through your digestive system, cleaning out decaying matter that's stuck to the walls of your intestines. Think of that bologna and mayo sandwich you had a few days ago. Do you really want remnants of that staying inside you for a few weeks? Of course not. Get some more fiber in your diet (and also roughage in general like lettuce) and clean your system out.

Now let's move on to some specific foods: 

Sauerkraut. Most people just put it on hot dogs. Hot dogs probably cause cancer, because only god knows what's in them.  If you're going to eat hot dogs, throw some sauerkraut on there so at least you've got something helping your body out as the hot dog tries to destroy it. Sauerkraut contains several cancer-fighting compounds. 

Nuts with selenium. Brazil nuts are probably the best choice. Selenium is a mineral that causes cancer cells to get depressed and suicidal, which is pretty awesome! Studies have found that people who get more selenium in their diet have a significantly decreased risk of developing a multitude of cancers.

Garlic. Eating garlic regularly virtually wipes out your chance of getting stomach cancer. Seriously, studies have found your chances of developing stomach cancer decrease by 92% if garlic is a part of your regular diet.  

Tomato sauces, including ketchup. Lycopene is a big cancer fighter, and it's found in higher concentrations in tomato sauces and pastes than in just a normal tomato. Here's an idea for a cancer fighting meal: whole wheat pasta with a tomato and garlic sauce. If you can find a way to add brazil nuts in there you'll have a meal that'll keep you cancer free until your 150!

Blueberries. These things are full of antioxidants. Throw some on your morning cereal and they'll give you vitamins and help you prevent cancer.  

Cancer causing foods

You should avoid eating too much barbecued food, especially if it's well-done. That black char is bad for you and increases your chances of cancer. One thing you can do is coat meat in a thick later of sauce before putting it on the grill. This will protect the meat from getting too charred. Also, try pre-cooking it in the over before throwing it on the grill. High-fat animal protein has also been linked to cancer. I'm the last person who would cut meat out of their diet, but just practice moderation.   

Drinks that prevent cancer

In addition to solid foods, there are things you should be drinking to decrease the risk of cancer. For starters, drink more water. At least six 8 oz glasses a day. Next, drink more tea. It's loaded with antioxidants. Also, there's a chemical in green tea called EGCG. No, it's not a punk hangout in New York City, but it might be the most powerful anti-cancer agent on the planet. Drink green tea and you'll decrease your risk of cancer, and as a side effect you'll also decrease your risk of heart disease. Two birds, one stone.

If you're over the age of 21, drink one bottle of beer a day. It'll decrease the risk of potentially cancerous tumors forming in your stomach. There are other benefits as well. Don't overdo it, or you might actually increase your risk of various health problems, including liver disease.  

Take a walk

Walk a half mile and back after dinner and reduce your chance of developing several cancers. This is particularly important for women, as exercise reduces estrogen levels that can cause breast cancer.  


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  • Glenn Stok profile image

    Glenn Stok 6 years ago from Long Island, NY

    You mentioned a lot of good ways to eat healthy. Some of which I keep forgetting and need reminders. Thanks for the reminders. Voted up and useful.