There is no doubt that eating healthful foods void of pesticides will boost overall health. In fact, this is why many individuals choose to shop organic, at least when it comes to buying fruit and vegetables. Eating more of these powerful foods could reduce your risk of developing obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. Luckily, many of the top researched cancer-fighting foods are both easy to find and simple to incorporate into your diet.
As I reported just a few months ago, some anti-cancer foods work at a cellular level, fighting tumor angiogenesis. This means they fight the process by which tumors grow new blood vessels and, therefore, grow themselves. An entire class of drugs addresses this method of growth—but so do some of these anti-cancer foods.
1. Foods Rich in Lycopene
A recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute specifically looked at the effects of lycopene on angiogenesis in prostate cancer. They found remarkable results, determining “lycopene was associated with reduced risk of lethal prostate cancer and with a lesser degree of angiogenesis in the tumor.”
So, what foods give you the most lycopene? Tomatoes are a great source and are widely available. Other good sources of lycopene include: watermelon, guava, papaya, red bell peppers, asparagus, mango, and red cabbage.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful, researched anti-cancer foods out there. Its active component curcumin has been found to reduce certain types of tumors by 81%! Researchers at UCLA found that curcumin is the component harnessing the ability to actually block cancer growth. Not surprisingly, the cancer-fighting ability that turmeric possesses makes up only a single facet of the many benefits of turmeric.
Like turmeric, garlic is a powerful root known for providing a wide range of health benefits. Allicin, the active component, selectively targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone,. Make no mistake, healthy people who incorporate garlic into their diets have a decreased risk of developing cancer.
‘Even though doctors cannot detect where metastatic cells have migrated and lodged themselves,’ says Prof. Mirelman, ‘the antibody-alliinase-alliin combination should chase them down and destroy them anywhere in the body.’
Related to turmeric, ginger joins the line-up of potent, anti-cancer roots. One study from Georgia State University found that whole ginger extract was able to reduce prostate tumor size by 56% in mice. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent rich in antioxidants.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are rich in sulfur-containing antioxidant compounds shown to fight cancer. Research from Linus Pauling Institute shows that these compounds work to fight carcinogens (cancer-causers) before they have a chance to damage DNA.
A diet rich in foods like these may not only reduce your risk of cancer, but other lifestyle-related diseases as well, helping you to reach optimal health.