Did you know that more than one million people in America are diagnosed with cancer every year? The American Cancer Society estimated 1,735,350 in 2018 alone. Which means, it’s possible that there are 4,700 new cancer diagnoses every day. It’s undeniably one of the major health problems affecting millions all over the world. The good news is that there are cancer fighting foods that can help prevent cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Prevention, there’s substantial evidence that a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, dietary fiber, and whole grains can help in preventing the development of various cancers. Other studies also support the fact that a healthy lifestyle can inhibit the recurrence of the disease.
What are the Best Foods for Fighting Cancer?
You don’t have to drastically change your diet to combat cancer. All you have to do is to include these top five cancer-fighting foods in your daily diet:
Orange-Colored Fruits and Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, berries, oranges, squash, carrots, and other citrus fruits are rich in carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein). Among the carotenoids, beta-carotene is the most studied. It helps with detoxification, liver health, immune functioning, and preventing cancers of the skin, organs, and eyes.
Vegetables that are rich in carbohydrates (complex carbs), such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and other tubers and whole grains helps in preventing the development of different cancers, especially in the upper digestive tract. This may be because of fiber but it still needs further research to confirm this theory.
On the other hand, simple carbs, refined grains, and foods with high glycemic index are definitely not cancer-fighting foods. In fact, consuming these can increase the risk of developing cancer, such as colorectal and breast cancer.
Leafy greens are the foundation of a healthy diet. These are called “superfoods” for a reason because they contain everything that’s good for you, such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. Plus, they’re low in calories, bad fat, salt, and other toxins. Therefore, you can eat all the greens you want – kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, watercress, and the like – without having to worry about eating too much. Since leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, they can effectively prevent cancer.
Additionally, it has antibacterial and antiviral properties that enable cancer cells to die, prevent the formation of a tumor, and metastasis. As you chew and digest the greens, it breaks down into compounds called isothiocyanates, indoles, and thiocyanates that fight cancer and preventing them from growing in the first place.
Make sure to add a cup of leafy greens to every meal or you can try juicing them. For other people, it’s easier for them to drink their vegetables rather than eat them. Juicing vegetables makes it easier to digest. You can also add fruits, seeds, and nuts to make it taster.
Examples of cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and the like, and it reduces the risk of developing cancers of the prostate, bladder, breast, and more. According to the 2008 research from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the people who ate the most cruciferous vegetables reduced their risk of developing lung cancer by 50%! These vegetables are great in fighting harmful chemicals that can lead to cancer.
Among the all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains the most cancer-fighting benefits. It contains a significant amount of sulforaphane – a compound that helps protective enzymes to kill off chemicals that can cause cancer by targeting cancer stem cells.
Different types of berries such as cherries, blueberries, raspberries, camu camu, strawberries, blackberries, and goji berries contain antioxidants that help fight cancer. They also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as gallic acid that boosts immunity.
Experiments conducted in several animals suggest that berries have anti-aging properties that help lessen the free-radical damage. It also contains proanthocyanidin antioxidants, phenols, lycopene, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, polysaccharides, and lutein.
Fun fact, berries are known to be a “superfood” since the ancient times. Goji berries, camu camu, and mulberry were actually used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost energy and immunity. You can either eat them fresh, dried, or in powder form but make sure it doesn’t undergo too much processing or contain added sugar.
Nuts and Seeds
Chia seeds and flax seeds give you tons of important minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes them one of the most nutritious seeds there is. Other types of nuts and seeds offer healthy fatty acids, such as almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. You can reap the health benefits you need with just two tablespoons every day. You can add them to your green smoothie, baked goods, oatmeal, or eat them straight out.
At the end of the day, preventing cancer all boils down to eating and doing what’s best for your body. A healthy lifestyle not only prevents cancer, but it also combats various diseases and cognitive problems common among seniors, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We Care For You
We believe that meal times are the best times of the day. Our residents are provided with three healthy and delicious meals that are tailored to their needs and preferences. We offer special food plans for residents with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. In addition to the great tasting food, we take extreme care to make sure that our residents receive the best nutrition, daily vitamins, and needed caloric intake and are well hydrated to stay healthy and active.
If you want to know more about assisted living facility in Mesa AZ, A Paradise for Parents staff and our resources can answer all your questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (623) 295-9890 or email us at Hal@aparadiseforparents.com to know more about the services we offer. You can also fill out an online form located on our homepage. We’d be happy to assist you in your search for an assisted living facility for your loved one.