It has been estimated by the National Cancer Institute that approximately one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related. Although no single food item can cure cancer itself, filling your diet with the right nutrients can help prevent cancer, and in some cases aid in cancer survival.
“The easiest, least-expensive way to reduce your risk for cancer is just by eating a healthy diet,” says Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, PhD, MPH, RD, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute. By eating a healthy diet you are decreasing your risk of obesity which can lead to many forms of cancer. When it comes to a diet rich in cancer-fighting substances, most experts agree that your plate should consist of at least two-thirds plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes) and minimal animal fats. “If you have two-thirds of plant food on your plate, that seems to be enough to avoid excessive amounts of food high in saturated fat,” says Karen Collins, RD, nutritional advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research. That being said, complete elimination of animal foods is not necessary, however, be sure to keep your intake under control and chose leaner options.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Look for foods rich in folate, vitamin D and antioxidants. Berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries), citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, lemons), dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, arugula), cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts), legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and whole grains are all known for having cancer fighting agents. Tea contains flavonoids, known for their antioxidant effects. Ginger, garlic, tomatoes, red or purple grapes, turmeric and soy are also known as cancer fighting foods.
WHAT TO AVOID:
Avoid refined sugars and processed foods all together and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. As for animal fats, make sure they do not fill more than one-third of your plate and chose lean meats like naturally raised chicken, turkey, and fish while opting for skim milk and low-fat cheeses.
American Institute for Cancer Research http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/