When it comes to cancer prevention, you probably already know that it’s important to eat more broccoli and tomatoes, drink more green tea, and incorporate flaxseeds into your diet. These foods are famed cancer fighters. But there are other little-known warriors that can give your diet an anticancer boost.
1. Dandelion greens
Dandelion greens have many anticancer compounds, including alpha-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Research published in the International Journal of Oncology found that dandelion leaf extract decreased the growth of breast cancer cells and stopped prostate cancer cells from invading healthy tissue samples. Meanwhile, an extract from the roots of the dandelion plant stopped breast cancer cells from invading healthy cells.
According to researchers, ginger’s anticancer potential is due to several natural compounds, including gingerol, paradol, shogaol, and zerumbone. Research in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that ginger may help with control of breast, colorectal, gastric, liver, prostate, and skin cancers.
“Ginger’s anticancer potential is due to several natural compounds, including gingerol, paradol, shogaol, and zerumbone.”
Microgreens are truly small but mighty. In a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers found that microgreens contained up to 40 times as many nutrients as their full-grown vegetable counterparts. That included anticancer nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), and vitamin E.
In a study conducted at Hiroshima University, Japan, researchers assessed the long-term effects of miso consumption on animals with lung cancer and found that those who were fed miso that had been fermented over many months experienced a significant reduction in number of lung tumors and adenocarcinomas (a specific form of lung and glandular cancers). They concluded that dietary supplementation with long-term fermented miso could exert preventive effects on lung cancer. Other research demonstrates miso’s protective effect against breast cancer.
A study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that parsley acts as an antioxidant that destroys free radicals before they harm cells, protects DNA from damage that can lead to cancer or other diseases, and inhibits the proliferation and migration of cancer cells.
Early studies demonstrate that pomegranate fruit and juice hold promise for inhibiting different types of cancer, including lung, colon, skin, breast, and prostate cancers and leukemia.
Sauerkraut is made from cabbage, one of the best anticancer foods. During the sauerkraut fermentation process, nutrients in the cabbage are transformed into additional anticancer compounds known as isothiocyanates. Sauerkraut with live cultures is also a source of probiotics (good bacteria), and research shows certain probiotics may soon have a key role in cancer prevention and treatment.
Fucoidans found in seaweed have shown antitumor activity against different types of cancer, including lung cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, and breast cancer. Keep in mind that sea vegetables, just like fish, can soak up toxins like heavy metals from surrounding waters. Purchase wisely by seeking out bags of dried organic seaweed from health food stores.
While you may think of turmeric as a delicious curry ingredient or brain health booster, its main active compound, curcumin, shows promise against certain cancers. In a study published in the medical journal Precision Oncology, researchers found that curcumin starved and shrank prostate cancer tumors. Other research has found curcumin may reduce colon cancer risk.
Herbs and supplements for more support
When your diet is lacking in nutrients or you just want to take extra precautionary measures, consider these supplements for immune system support.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea has demonstrated effectiveness against some types of cancer.
One of the carotenoids needed for strong immune health, lutein has anticancer properties.
Plentiful research, including a study in the journal Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, shows lycopene may help protect against prostate cancer.
Research shows that, provided you don’t exceed recommended dosages, the essential mineral selenium can help with cancer prevention.
Research in the journal Science Reports found that vitamin A, beta-carotene, and lycopene in the diet might assist in fighting pancreatic cancer.
A critical nutrient for immune health, vitamin C helps fight free-radical damage linked to cancer.
Not only is vitamin D connected to preventing many types of cancer, but a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggested vitamin D may also help prolong lifespan in people suffering from cancer.
Beta-sitosterol is basically plant cholesterol. This plant cholesterol can be helpful in reducing harmful LDL cholesterol in humans and restoring immune system health to help fight disease.
How to make a delicious roasted dandelion root smoothie.