Top 5 Cancer Fighting Foods

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Melanoma. I have had several areas removed from my body and I’ve been rewarded with clean borders and no need for chemotherapy. I am vigilant in my use of sunscreen as well as going for my periodic skin care check ups, but I also try to eat a healthy diet.

Recently, I spotted this list of five cancer fighting foods on the Today Show. I eat most of them, but not all. It’s recommended that we eat about 1/2 cup of each every day. How many of them do you eat?

  • Garlic has long been known for its cancer fighting properties.  A recent study showed that the more garlic an individual consumed, the lower the level of nitrates found in the urine. Scientist hope to use this information to discover how garlic fights nitrates in hot dogs and other processed lunch meats, which then morph into nitrites and can become cancer cells.
  • Broccoli contains sulforaphanes, which target cancer stem cells.  Raw broccoli contains the highest levels, with steamed following a close second. Try this amazing dip the next time you need a mid afternoon snack.
  • Berries, in general, and black raspberries especially, contain phytochemicals that prevent the formation of new blood vessels called angiogenesis. In studies with rats, there was solid proof that black raspberry extract inhibited the growth of esophageal cancer tumors. Berries are delicious with oatmeal or as part of a fresh fruit and yogurt parfait.
  • Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes and certain other fruits and vegetables their color. Lycopene has been found to delay the growth of cancer cells in both endometrial and prostate cancers. Cooking tomatoes actually increases lycopene availability, so why not make a pot of spaghetti sauce and serve it with whole wheat pasta for dinner tonight?
  • Black and navy beans are great source of fiber. They also contain short chain fatty acids called butyrates. Butyrates are formed in the intestine while digesting beans, and high levels of these acids have been proven to be effective against cancer cells. Eating beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week has been found to decrease colon cancer risk by a full 50% – eating them daily would magnify the effects. Enjoy beans in salads, burritos, nachos, with fish or even in brownies!

Via The Today Show

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