Cancer Fighting Foods Reduce Your Risks
In 2010, after completing a rigorous application and site review process by Meals On Wheels America, we were awarded “Exemplary Status” Magnet Accreditation for our outstanding senior nutrition program.
Food is more powerful than you think. It can fight cancer both directly and indirectly. Directly, there are individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals that demonstrate anti-cancer effects. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggests the synergy of compounds in the overall diet offers the strongest cancer protection. Indirectly, carrying excess body fat increases the risk of many cancers including pancreas, colon, kidney and ovarian. That’s why the AICR says 2/3 of your meal should be vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.
Check out some of these cancer fighting foods below and get the full list on AICR’s website.
Berries are rich in Vitamin C, which may reduce your risk of esophageal cancer, and they are also high in fiber, which may decrease colon cancer risk. Berries are also a great source of ellagic acid, a powerful phytochemical that has been shown to fight cancer in several different ways in laboratory studies.
Walnuts contain phytosterols, a plant compound that makes walnuts another food high in antioxidants. Phytosterols also help lower blood cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. There is some evidence for walnuts decreasing breast and colon tumor growth. AICR says more research must be done on this, but they are a healthy food that is beneficial to add to your diet.
In laboratory studies, components of garlic have stopped the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon and stomach tissue. One of the components, diallyl disulfide, protects against cancers of the skin, colon and lung, and is also able to kill leukemia cells.
Found in tofu, tempeh, edamame and soymilk, soy contains many phytochemicals to help fight cancer. Sphingolipids regulate cell growth by destroying abnormal cells and the progression of tumors. Soy also contains phenolic acids, still being studied, but researchers believe they play a role in stopping cancer cells from spreading.
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, romaine lettuce and other dark green leafy vegetables have a wide range of carotenoids, which act like antioxidants by neutralizing free radicals. Some studies have also found carotenoids prevent the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.
Three out of the five foods listed above are served on Meals on Wheels menus: berries, garlic and dark green leafy vegetables. Other foods served by Meals on Wheels that make AICR’s cancer fighting foods list include apples, whole grains, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, peas, winter squash and tomatoes. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains will not only reduce your risk of cancer, but is important for your overall health. With Meals on Wheels, you can enjoy a variety of these foods planned with your health in mind!