21 Cancer-Fighting Foods


According to the American Cancer Society, cancer afflicts more than one million U.S. citizens each year. Since the odds are not in our favor, every single one of us has to everything in their power to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Apart from not smoking, exercising on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy weight, you can also prevent this deadly disease by eating certain foods.

Here’s a list of 21 cancer-fighting foods that could save your life:

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are not only super delicious, but they are also one of the healthiest foods out there. As it turns out, they are also one of the best foods you can eat if you want to lessen your chances of getting cancer. Tomatoes are basically an excellent source of various antioxidants, including vitamin C and lycopene, both of which reduce the possibility of abnormal cell growth.

As a matter of fact, scientists have discovered that lycopene prevents prostate cancer. If all of this hasn’t persuaded you to delight in a tomato-rich diet, you should also know that some studies have shown that tomatoes may significantly decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, lung cancer and stomach cancer. Apart from guarding you against cancer, these tasty red fruits also keep your cardiovascular system healthy, increase your energy levels, help you lose weight, and improve your hair and skin.


2. Raspberries

Good news, everyone! Those delicious little fruits that probably everyone loves to eat can do wonders for your health. Among the many benefits of consuming raspberries on a regular basis is, as you might have expected, cancer prevention.

Like tomatoes, these amazing natural treats are also high in antioxidants which possess the almost magical ability to fight off cancer and keep you healthy. As a matter of fact, research has shown that, of all the fruits and veggies examined in cancer prevention studies, raspberries (and other berries) have the highest success rate. In other words, if you want to eat your way to reducing the risk of cancer, eat all the berries your heart desires, and more!

By protecting your cells from damage, berries essentially keep you safe from skin cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer and esophageal cancer. Who would have thought that there is such power in berries?


3. Broccoli

You don’t have to be a fan of broccoli to know that veggies are literally miracle workers when it comes to our health and wellbeing. And if you enjoy eating powerful greens, we have even more good news: broccoli and its relatives such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and bok choy have cancer-fighting compounds and properties that may protect you from all sorts of diseases, including mouth cancer, pharynx cancer, larynx cancer, esophageal cancer and stomach cancer.

These are all pretty good reasons to go to the market ASAP and buy yourself some broccoli. And don’t worry – you just think you don’t like the taste of this cruciferous veggie. There are numerous ways to prepare broccoli and all you have to do is use your imagination. The best part is that the veggie will acquire the flavor of literally any spice you prepare it with.


4. Other Cruciferous Vegetables

As we have already mentioned, cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and bok choy have the incredible ability of guarding us against all sorts of cancer. Consuming these vegetables lowers your chance of getting breast, prostate, lung, colon and bladder cancer.

And these awesome veggies have a number of other super powers. For example, these mighty greens have also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of the infamous Alzheimer’s disease and many other serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Don’t take our word for it: the U.S. dietary guidelines encourage people to eat a wide variety of veggies every day. Basically, the more – the merrier! Since there are several cruciferous veggies from which you can choose from, there are no excuses for not including them in your diet.


5. Garlic

Garlic may not have the most pleasant of smells, but garlic breath is a small price to pay for staying super healthy. In fact, it is precisely the characteristic garlic odor that stops cancer from attacking your body and significantly prolongs your life.

We’ve all heard of the health benefits of eating garlic, and science has recently backed up some of those claims. For instance, there is a connection between garlic consumption and lowered risks of getting a wide variety of cancers, including mouth, larynx, esophagus, colon, breast, ovary, and kidneys, breast, ovaries, prostate, and many more.

Moreover, garlic is known to fight the common cold, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia…the list never ends. It now seems that there is not much that garlic can’t do for our health, but you need to be careful: too much garlic can have the opposite effect and actually do you more harm than good.


6. Grapefruit

As you might have figured out by now, all these cancer-fighting foods benefit our health in more ways than one and grapefruit is no exception. Best known for their vitamin C content, grapefruits are also rich in vitamin A, fiber, potassium and magnesium, all of which help us to stay disease-free.

When it comes to cancer, grapefruit actually keeps us protected from the wicked disease by destroying cancer cells and encouraging cell repair. Research has confirmed that grapefruit, when eaten 3 times per day at 6 ounces per serving, guards us against colon cancer. Moreover, grapefruit promotes weight loss, boosts heart cardiovascular health, as well as the immune system, prevents kidney stones and is excellent for detox.

As you can see, the health benefits of including grapefruit in your diet are infinite, but if you’re taking any meds, talk to your physician before eating grapefruits (or drinking grapefruit juice) as some medications should never be taken with the delicious fruit hybrid.


7. Peanuts and Peanut Butter

Peanut butter has become an American staple food and there is not a single person in the U.S. that has never indulged in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In fact, the delicious sandwich owes its popularity to the much loved peanut butter filling.

The bad news is that only 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain almost 200 calories and 16 grams of fat which means you have to know where to draw a line. However, not all is lost. Despite being high in calories and fat, peanut butter is also rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, all of which offer a wide variety of health benefits.

Most importantly, peanut butter reduces the risk of getting cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease. Peanuts are excellent at preventing colorectal cancer, one of the most common types of cancers in the world – eating peanuts twice a week may save you from this horrid disease.

Spicy baked potatoes

8. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not just a favorite dessert; they are also a healthy veggie that may have an enormous impact on your health. This is, of course, a win-win situation as you get to take care of your body and mind, as well as enjoy their unusual flavor.

When it comes to nutrition, they are an unmatched soul food; believe it or not, sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of vitamin A. The FDA reports that only one sweet potato is enough to meet your daily vitamin A recommendations. And that’s not all.

Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in other vitamins and minerals that help us stay healthy. Needless to say that people who include sweet potatoes in their diet have much better cancer-fighting abilities than those who rarely, or never eat them.

Fresh raw salmon with coarse salt

9. Wild Salmon

Since science has confirmed that low levels of vitamin D can lead to cancer, the best thing you can do for your body is eat a lot of wild salmon. And when we say a lot, we recommend eating it at least two times a week.

Like all the superfoods on our list, wild salmon is also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, D and E, as well as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. Consequently, eating wild salmon can have a very beneficial effect on the body.

Apart from the previously-mentioned anti-cancer effect, wild salmon also protects you from cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, eye degeneration and depression. Moreover, it boosts the immune system, and plays an important part in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. What more could you ask from a tasty fish?

Flax seeds and linseed oil

10. Ground Flaxseed

Flaxseed owes its wonder-food status to three crucial components: omega-3 fatty acids (better known as ‘good’ fats), lignans (famous for their antioxidant qualities), and fiber. Of all the 100+ superfoods in the world, flaxseeds is absolutely the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and that speaks enough for itself.

These good fats are so important because they have an excellent effect on the heart and have been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer. Recent studies have all come to the conclusion that flaxseed may significantly lower the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

In case you’re wondering how to incorporate flaxseed into your diet, we have some recommendations; you can eat them in muffins, and other treats, as well as in breads and oatmeal. Basically, the options are limitless – you just need some imagination and some cooking skills.


11. Turmeric

Though turmeric is not a common food ingredient, the herbaceous plant is actually one of the healthiest spices known to man. Used to give curry its distinctive yellow color, turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Luckily, western scientists have recently begun to understand that turmeric has an enormous impact on people’s health.

Turmeric’s most significant ingredient is curcumin, a very powerful antioxidant that may prevent cancer by detecting changes in the cells and destroying the ones afflicted with cancer. In animal studies, curcumin has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, lung, liver, stomach and colon cancer, and it may have the same effect on humans. And no, you don’t need to eat curry every day to experience turmeric’s numerous benefits; simply spice things up in the kitchen and use it to add flavor to your meals. And the best part? It’s calorie-free.


12. Tea

Researchers believe that a compound found in most teas may prevent cancer cells from growing – a good enough reason to enjoy one of the most popular drinks in the world. Apart from recent U.S. studies, green tea has been associated with lower risks of stomach cancer in Japan, as well as with the reduced risk of rectal and pancreatic cancers in China.

Moreover, people who regularly consume tea (the most effective being green, black, oolong, and white) have a smaller chance of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, lung and colon cancers. The amazing beverage also lowers the risk of cardiovascular and degenerative disease, Parkinson’s disease, prevents diabetes and promotes weight loss.

Despite all these advantages, don’t go overboard – an excessive amount of tea can do you more harm than good. And remember that tea does have some miraculous properties, but cannot solve all health problems.

Pomegranate fruit woman

13. Pomegranates

Pomegranate, one of the most popular fruits ever, has been enjoyed for thousands of years, and was a crucial part of many lavish ceremonies in ancient cultures. Though the fruit is not as celebrated in America as it is in the rest of the world, you should do your best to include pomegranate in your diet and consume this superfood on a regular basis.

Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pomegranate is something like a miracle cure for all ailments. Though its power is not infinite, pomegranate is an excellent protection against a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Additionally, pomegranate is used to battle the common cold, hemorrhoids, stomach upsets, conjunctivas, and many more conditions and illnesses. After learning all of this, if you still think it’s a hassle to eat pomegranate because of the seeds, there’s just one more thing you need to know: pomegranate will keep you young, healthy and vital for a very long time.

Young smiling woman with fresh parsley

14. Leafy Green Vegetables

Since the dawn of time, moms have been telling their kids to eat their veggies. Though this may be an overstatement, people seriously need to pay more attention to the food they eat, and include more vegetables in their diet.

Take cabbage and lettuce as an example. Most kids probably don’t enjoy eating them and would rather devour a piece of cake, but what they don’t know is that leafy green veggies are one of the most powerful sources of health in the world.

As you might have thought, their health benefits are countless and include the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, memory loss, and many other grave illnesses. In fact, they don’t just guard you against disease; leafy green veggies keep your bones strong, skin and hair healthy and fabulous, your body vital and your mind sharp.


15. Grape Products

Amazing news for wine lovers: grape juice and red wine may just prove to be the key to preventing cancer, and staying young and healthy. The most awesome part is that red wine is actually more beneficial than you might think. Apart from being packed with antioxidants which lower the risk of cancer, red wine has the incredible ability to stop the deadly disease from spreading further in the body.

Moreover, drinking red wine also reduces the risk of heart disease and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Last but not least, wine drinkers live longer than people who drink beer or other alcoholic beverages. We do, however, have to stress that wine should be consumed in moderation, which means that men shouldn’t drink more than two glasses per day, while women should stick to one glass only.

Funny woman with a carrot

16. Carrots

Carrots are one of the healthiest and most popular vegetables in the world that even kids enjoy eating. They are superfoods that are powerful enough to slow the growth of cancer cells and protect people from various cancers, including mouth cancer, esophageal cancer and stomach cancer.

In addition, smokers who eat carrots several times a week have a lower risk of lung cancer, and some studies have suggested that these tasty veggies also reduce the risk of prostate cancer. A carrot-rich diet is also associated with a lower risk of heart attack, as well as stroke.

Besides, carrots improve vision and memory, while at the same time keeping the brain healthy and alert. Even though some people prefer to eat them raw, research has recently shown that it may be better to consume processed carrots because cooking apparently increases their nutritional value.


17. Spinach

This vegetable is loaded with vitamins, minerals, iron and protein, and it’s not surprising that Popeye became indestructible whenever he ate some spinach. The famous sailor is only a fictional character, but there’s no doubt that spinach has superpowers – though you won’t become the strongest person in the world, the popular veggie will really do wonders for your health.

The antioxidants found in spinach have been shown to help combat a number of cancers, such as skin cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Apart from lowering the risk of cancer, a spinach-rich diet reduces the risk of heart attack, lowers blood pressure, improves bone health, boosts eye health and keeps both the mind and body young. Despite all its health benefits, eat the leafy veggie in moderation – too much spinach can cause digestive problems such as gas, cramps, and bloating.


18. Whole Grains

An excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, whole grains should definitely be a part of your diet. The latest federal guidelines recommend more than a half of the grains you eat per day should definitely be whole. That basically means that you should always opt for whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, corn and barley, and other whole grain foods.

Consuming whole grains may reduce cholesterol levels, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Though there is not enough research to confirm that eating whole grains also lowers the risk of certain types of cancer, new evidence is emerging that these superfoods may, in fact, significantly reduce the chance of getting breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. We recommend a diet that includes whole grains, fruits and veggies – just to be on the safe side.

Red kidney bean texture background.

19. Beans

Though you might not be aware of it, beans are also a good sources of antioxidants that may be very effective in preventing cancer. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein – another important reason why you should include them in your anti-cancer diet. Besides, studies have reported that people who eat more legumes have a lower risk of heart disease, as well as lower levels of cholesterol.

There are many potential benefits of consuming beans, but we have to warn you not to go to extremes. Beans should not be eaten every day because they may pose a health risk and cause serious problems, such as migraines. Remember that only a healthy, moderate diet is the key to a long, cancer-free life.

Woman with milk

20. Milk

A healthy diet is simply not possible without calcium, and now it seems that a high intake of calcium from low-fat milk may be one of the most efficient weapons against cancer. The most important thing you need to bear in mind is that too much milk can have a harmful effect on the body.

However, there’s no need to panic as the U.S. federal government’s dietary guidelines recommend that the average person consume three cups of milk per day – this amount should probably suit everyone’s needs.Now for some good news: milk really does your body good.

Not only is it excellent for the bones, but also improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, promotes muscle building and weight loss and protects from cancer. Studies have shown that milk especially reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer.


21. Nuts

We have come to the very end of our list, but that in no way implies that nuts are the least important in the battle against cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, all nuts have some cancer-proof abilities, but walnuts seem to be the most efficient. Moreover, nuts prevent several other diseases, including hearth disease, diabetes and obesity.

Though no study can claim that nuts (or any other food, as a matter of fact) without a doubt protect from cancer, there is some evidence to suggest that they reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer. Whatever the case, eating healthy foods can do you no harm (as long as you don’t go nuts), so add nuts to your diet – the best idea would be to replace unhealthy snacks with a handful of nuts (30-40g per day).

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