Your meal choices are a surprisingly important element in the quest to fight off cancer, and in achieving good health in general. A diet rich in the right nutrients helps you strengthen your immune system and support your body's natural defense mechanisms, which in turn helps you feel better as well. In fact, research suggests that of all the lifestyle changes you can make to maximize your chance of avoiding cancer, none are more critical or have a more positive impact than enjoying the benefits of healthy and tasty foods.
Foods that are Good for You
Embracing certain foods that appear on American dinner tables and fine restaurant menus every night can be a satisfying and health-reinforcing experience that you and your family can enjoy together for life. Healthy food choices include:
- Berries - Juicy fresh blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berries are filled with antioxidants that can defeat the generation of cell-damaging free radicals, helping to fight off colon, esophageal, oral, and even skin cancers.
- Whole-grain breads - Whole-wheat breads, bran muffins, and other natural whole-grain breads are rich in fiber, which keeps all foods moving through your digestive system including less healthy foods, and in the process may help protect you from colorectal cancer and cancers of the mouth, stomach, and pharynx.
- Beans- A diet rich in beans raises your level of the fatty acid butyrate - which has a protection effect against cancer growth - and thus helps fight both breast and colon cancers.
- Garlic - Every tiny but tasty garlic clove has huge cancer-fighting properties, born of phytochemicals that halt the formation of carcinogens in your body, helping to protect you from breast, colon, esophageal, and stomach cancers.
- Tomatoes - Fresh juicy tomatoes are packed with an antioxidant called lycopene, which defends your DNA from cellular damage and thus helps fight prostate cancer in men, as well as stomach, uterine and even lung cancers.
- Broccoli - Steamed or raw, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower all protect your cells from free-radical damage, but broccoli alone generates the sulforaphane that enhances your natural protective enzymes and attacks tumor-supporting stem cells, making it a defender against breast, prostate, liver, lung, stomach, bladder, and skin cancers as well.
- Fish - Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, black cod and some other species of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and may therefore fight cancers connected to chronic inflammation, which are colorectal, liver, lung, and prostate cancers.
Recent science also suggests that limiting your intake of red meats, processed meats, and cheeses is a good strategy, as these foods lack important nutrients and instead contain higher levels of saturated fat, which have been linked to higher rates of cancer.