10 Foods That Fight Cancer and WIN!

“You can’t eat your pudding if you don’t eat your vegetables”

… as made famous by that song from Pink Floyd.  This statement rings true in my household almost every day.

Yeah, I am the first to admit I have a killer sweet tooth and my kids are definitely from my genetic makeup.  My DNA is slightly mutated to say the least.  I LOVE sweets! Primarily Chocolate and Ice Cream… and that genetic thing I mentioned… well I have never had freeze brain and I used to eat ice cream by the bucket.

Literally before my wife and I got married we were watching a movie at my dad’s (with dad) and I asked if my wife wanted ice cream.  Then from the next room I yelled “did you want a bowl or a spoon?”  Whoops!  She said “spoon” and my dad yelled, you better marry that girl, she’s a keeper.

Now my son eats ice-cream by the fistful and at 2 years old he takes bigger mouthfuls than I do and we are waiting the dreaded “freeze brain”.

How is this relevant and what does this have to do with the song from Pink Floyd?  Well the simple fact is that we eat a lot of veggies in our house and no one, not even dad, gets a treat or dessert until ALL the veggies are gone.

Also because we (me, my profession and family) are of the “anti-cancer” society and numerous studies following large groups of people, eating more vegetables and fruits have been linked to a lower risk of lung, oral, oesophageal, stomach, and colon cancer. The thinking behind these results points to antioxidants and photochemicals, natural compounds found in plants.

Let’s figure this out… “What are antioxidants?”

The American Cancer Society (ACS) explains it like this… “the body seems to use certain nutrients in vegetables and fruits to protect against damage to tissues that happens constantly as a result of normal metabolism (oxidation). Because such damage is linked with increased cancer risk, the antioxidant nutrients are thought to protect against cancer. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and many other phytochemicals (beneficial plant compounds).”

Let’s stop the lab coat geek speak for a minute, it’s really a no-brainer. When you eat real food, you stay healthier. So now you’ve got a bunch of government programs telling you to eat your 5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and you’ve got mom standing behind you telling you to do the same and finally you got me harassing you do eat your veggies and cancer fighting foods! I’m going to give you few plant-based suggestions to help fight more cancer and just might be easier to enjoy. Here are 10 kick-butt cancer fighting foods you will enjoy – these ten were chosen for their seriously butt-kicking cancer powers, as described on the site for the Stanford School of Medicine Health Improvement Program.  To make this even easier you will find these are in alphabetical order.

1. Beans

Beans contain a number of phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent or slow genetic damage to cells. While this makes beans beneficial for helping to reduce your risk of many types of cancer, specific research has suggested they are especially potent in preventing prostate cancer. As an added bonus, the high fiber content of beans has been connected with a lower risk of digestive cancers.

2. Berries

The two most widely studied cancer-fighting compounds in berries are ellagic acid (richest in strawberries and raspberries) and anthocyanosides (richest in blueberries). Ellagic acid is believed to help prevent skin, bladder, lung, and breast cancers, both by acting as an antioxidant and by slowing the reproduction of cancer cells. The anthocyanosides in blueberries are currently the most powerful antioxidants known to scientists and are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale)

Cruciferous vegetables-like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale-are rich in a variety of compounds that have been shown to slow cancer growth and development in a number of laboratory studies. Other larger human studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables can help to reduce the risk of lung, stomach, colorectal, prostate, and bladder cancers.

4. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy-green vegetables-like romaine lettuce, mustard greens, chicory, and Swiss chard-are rich sources of antioxidants called carotenoids. These compounds scavenge dangerous free radicals from the body before they can promote cancer growth. The vegetables are also rich in folate, a vitamin shown to reduce the risk of lung and breast cancer.

5. Flaxseed

Flaxseed in the form of oil and meal contains phytoestrogens believed to reduce the risk of breast, skin, and lung cancer. Research on the potency of flaxseed as an anti-cancer food is still underway.

6. Garlic (including onions, scallions, leeks, and chives)

Garlic contains a number of compounds believed to slow or stop the growth of tumors. One such compound, diallyl disulfide, appears to be especially potent in protecting against skin, colon, and lung cancer, though it is not known exactly how it functions.

7. Grapes

Grapes and wine contain a chemical called resveratrol, which has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Resveratrol is thought to work by preventing cell damage before it begins. Red and purple grapes are the richest sources of resveratrol.

8. Green Tea (decaf)

Green tea is a rich source of a class of flavonoids known as catechins. Laboratory studies have shown that the catechins present in green tea are able to slow or prevent the development of cancer in colon, liver, breast, and prostate cells.

9. Tomatoes

The anti-cancer compound in tomatoes, lycopene, has been shown to be especially potent in combating prostate cancer. This compound appears to be more easily absorbed if the tomatoes are eaten in cooked form-either as tomato sauce, paste, or juice. In addition to preventing prostate cancer, lycopene may also protect against breast, lung, stomach, and pancreatic cancer.

10. Whole Grains

Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds, including fiber, antioxidants, and phytoestrogens. When eaten as part of a balanced diet, whole grains can help decrease the risk of developing most types of cancer.

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  1. ann v. hawkins-penn
    7 years ago

    I am fighting cancer.

    • Patrick
      7 years ago

      I am sorry to hear that. Honestly and truly I know what you are going thru since several of my family have done the same. Some beat it and others did not.

      May I suggest you consider getting all the leafy, vibrant and dark fibrous veggies you can get your hands on. Also eat as much fish as you can and never anything burnt or charred. Sam Graci is a good friend of mine and he developed Greens+ and wrote “the power of super foods” and others. He told me once when I had a serious scare to eat moderate to low calories and drink greens+ 3-5 times per day. So far it works.