From protecting your vision to aiding in weight loss and preventing diabetes, the foods on this list all contain numerous health benefits. But the one thing that they all have in common – they are cancer fighting superfoods.
--Nicole Dossantos, Editor The Active TImes
Time and time again research has proven the benefits of berries in connection with cancer. Strawberries and raspberries specifically contain a unique phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has the power to prevent bladder, skin, esophagus, lung and breast cancers, according to thetruthaboutcancer.com.
Onions contain antioxidants which help prevent the oxidation of fatty acids in our body – they are a great prebiotic food. According to research they also have incredible anti-cancer effects. “A moderate consumption of onions was found to lower the risk of laryngeal, colorectal, and ovarian cancers,” according to thetruthaboutcancer.com.
Walnuts contain high amounts of phytochemicals and polyphenols that have great antioxidant properties. They contain omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid which may have the potential to fight tumors. They are also an excellent source of magnesium, and melatonin which has been shown to help with a good night sleep.
Ginger can be used for a variety of health related issues – improving digestion, relieving pain, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, just to name a few. However, when it comes to fighting cancer, research has shown that ginger has the ability to shrink tumors; it’s even more effective than many cancer drugs, according to Natural Society.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), tomatoes contain carotenoids and they are an excellent source of vitamins A and C; diets high in carotenoids convincingly lower the risk of pharynx, mouth, lung and larynx cancers. While vitamin C plays a role in the formation of collagen. It helps destroy cancer-causing free radicals in the body, according to pcrm.org. “The protective effect of vitamin C has been shown for cancers of the esophagus, larynx, mouth, pancreas, stomach, colon, and breast.”
Dry beans and other legumes contain dietary fiber, according to AICR, dietary fiber can act in a few ways to lower the risk for cancer. They explain that “gut bacteria feed on fiber, which produces compounds that may protect colon cells. And folate is essential for healthy DNA and maintaining control of cell growth.”
Evidence has shown that “mushrooms are among the most powerful functional food in a growing cancer-fighting and cancer-preventing arsenal,” The Truth About Cancer explains. “Some anti-cancer mushrooms exhibit direct antiviral and tumor shrinking abilities.” The Maitake mushroom specifically “shows promise in blocking tumor growth and activating malignant cell death through its specific immune-enhancing methods.”
Flaxseed has proven to have potential positive effects on breast cancer. They contain lignans, a type of phytoestrogen which is similar to human estrogen. Oncology Nutrition explains that “there is evidence that adding ground flaxseeds into the diet decreases cell growth in breast tissue,” and “animal studies have shown that both flaxseed oil and lignans can reduce breast tumor growth and spread, even for ER- cancer cells.”
There have been several population studies that have shown an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, the National Cancer Institute explains, this includes cancers of the colon, stomach, breast, esophagus and pancreas. “An analysis of data from seven population studies showed that the higher the amount of raw and cooked garlic consumed, the lower the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.”