Cancer Preventing Foods

CANCER PREVENTING FOODS

from American Institute of Cancer Research

Following is a brief review of some of the most potent cancer preventing foods and their benefits.

Legumes (lentils, beans, peas)

Phytic acid (IP6)

Antioxidant – protect cells from DNA damage

Deprives cancer cells of substances (esp iron) that are needed for reproduction

Fiber

Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

Ellagic acid

Antioxidant – protect cells from DNA damage

Inhibits the DNA binding of certain carcinogens

Vitamin C

Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts)

Indole-3-carbinol

Alters estrogen metabolism

Stops growth and proliferation of cancer cells

Isothiocyanates

Inhibits carcinogenesis and tumorigenesis through liver pathways

Causes apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells

Green Leafy Vegetables (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens)

Folate

Important role in DNA replication and repair

Prevention of tumor development

 Flaxseed

Lignans

Phytoestrogens:  plant-based substances with weak estrogenic activity

Attach to estrogen receptors and reduce harmful effects of estrogen in breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate tissue

Provides extra estrogen activity in bones to encourage density and strength

 Green Tea

Polyphenols and Catechins

Antioxidants

Inhibit tumor cell replication and new blood supply to tumor

Help with detoxification of harmful substances

Soy (tofu, tempeh, soymilk, soynuts)

Isoflavones

Natural plant hormones – similar action as lignans

Antioxidant

THINGS TO AVOID OR LIMIT

Cured and smoked meats (nitrites)

Higher risk and incidence of esophageal and gastric cancer

High fat diet, especially saturated fats

Choose avocado, olive oil, coconut oil

Limit animal fat

Large amounts of red meat

Excessive alcohol consumption

Cigarettes

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AND EXERCISE

Healthy BMI and body fat percentage

<18.5 underweight

18.5 to 24.9 healthy

25.0 to 29.9 overweight

>30.0 obese

Daily exercise

High BMI correlated with increased risk of breast, endometrial, esophageal, kidney, and colon cancer

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