Let’s begin by prioritizing a diet rich in nutritious, whole foods that have been scientifically proven to aid in the fight against cancer. Here are six such foods:
1. Flaxseed Lignans:
Flaxseeds have been shown in research studies to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. In addition, studies involving thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer have indicated that lignans play a significant role in reducing overall mortality and cancer-specific mortality in breast cancer patients.
Research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that the high levels of carotenoids (such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and total carotenoids) found in tomatoes may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, a study found that men who consumed more than 10 portions of tomatoes or tomato products per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 18 percent compared to those who consumed less.
The glutathione present in avocados has been found to help prevent certain types of cancers. Studies conducted at Ohio State University have shown that nutrients in Hass avocados can kill or impede the growth of pre-cancerous cells associated with oral cancer. Avocado extract has also demonstrated inhibitory effects on prostate cancer, while certain molecules within avocados have shown the ability to directly target leukemia stem cells without harming healthy cells.
Regular consumption of raw garlic has been associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer, even in individuals who smoke, as indicated by a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Garlic, as an allium vegetable, has also been found to provide protection against stomach and colon cancers, with studies suggesting that it may have the ability to kill cancer cells in test tubes.
5. Legumes (Beans and Lentils):
A six-year study involving over 14,000 men in the U.S. revealed that those with the highest intake of legumes (such as beans, lentils, or split peas) had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, an analysis of 14 studies encompassing 1,903,459 participants found that individuals consuming the highest amounts of legumes, particularly soybeans, had the lowest risk of colon cancer. Another study suggested that consuming legumes more than twice a week could reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer compared to rare or infrequent consumption.
6. Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts):
Research conducted at Oregon State University has demonstrated that cruciferous vegetables can lower the overall risk of cancer. They have also been found to inhibit and regulate genes associated with cancer development, according to studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The National Cancer Institute’s fact page further supports the notion that individuals who consume larger quantities of cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, have a lower risk of cancer.
By incorporating these six scientifically-backed foods into your diet, you can take proactive steps towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of cancer.