What foods can help your body reduce the risk of cancer?

Posted: 9th Jan 15 10:36 AM

Eating healthy foods won’t cure cancer, but it is common sense that if your body gets the best nutrition it can, it will be in the best position to reduce the risk of cancer.

There is a wonderful world of healthy foods out there, and you don’t have to seek out odd and exotic super foods that make eating healthy a chore. Old favourites and simple foods that taste great can also be a great source of nutrients to help the body avoid illness and reduce the risk of cancer.

We are going to whet your appetite today with just five of our favourites that we like to see on our dinner plates. Remember, these are not the only healthy options available and we’d love to hear about some of your cherished fare for boosting the body.

Red and yellow peppers are the top source of vitamin C in the UK – more so than oranges! Vitamin C strengthens your immune cells and also neutralises toxins in the body. It is thought that cancer patients should consume 2-10 grams of vitamin C per day. A large red pepper contains 250mgs and an orange contains 65mgs. Red and yellow peppers are even good sources of carotenoids, which are organic pigments that aid the metabolism.

Six cracked Brazil nuts will give your body its daily dose of selenium, which is a very potent anti-cancer agent. Selenium also plays a critical role in DNA synthesis and protection from oxidative damage and infection.

Garlic is a wonderful little bulb with a number of active ingredients. It contains selenium, standard amino acids and sulphur based active agents that attack cancer cells. Garlics protective qualities may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances.

Fish oil from oily fish provides you with Omega-3, a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been shown to help protect chromosomes, which can be damaged when you have cancer, putting your DNA structure at risk. Omega-3 has been linked to reduced levels of prostate, breast and colon cancer. Research also shows that it can prevent weight loss while undergoing chemotherapy.

Tomatoes, according to Harvard research, seven to 10 helpings of cooked tomatoes a week will cut prostate cancer symptoms by as much as 40%. These red devils also have an influence on other cancers, such as lung, colon, cervix and breast cancer. Lycopene is the prime active agent. It helps reduce the ‘bad’ fat levels in your bloodstream and is a strong anti-oxidant. Between 25mgs and 40mgs of lycopene is the recommended daily intake and one tin of tomato soup alone contains 65mgs of the stuff.

How about a drink after your meal? Green tea is not just a tasty beverage (once you get used to it), the Mayo Clinic claims that as little as 3-5 cups of green tea a day can stop the growth of certain cancers. But be sure to take care, some research has shown that consuming too much of any form of beverage while eating a meal can cause a build-up of pressure on your diaphragm, so it’s probably best to wait until after eating to have a quick slurp.

Further reading:

Cancer Research – healthy eating and cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support – eating well.