Cancer treatments are some of the most expensive treatments in the world. Expensive medication coupled with other therapies like chemotherapy make cancer unaffordable to a huge population around the world, and in the US that’s no different. Surviving cancer is a tedious experience, preventing it is something we all aspire to do.
There are several factors that increase your chance of getting cancer such as smoking, drinking, consuming food with carcinogenic substances, radiation, etc. Cancer can also be genetic, meaning there are many types of cancer that may run in one’s family. The first step to trying to prevent cancer is to eliminate all the things listed above that are directly linked to cancer. The next step is to analyze your family’s medical history to see if there are any chances of you being diagnosed with a hereditary form of cancer. Consulting a medical professional at the slightest hint of a cancer symptom is important as cancer is usually easiest treated in its early stages.
There are several changes one can make to their lifestyle to try to avoid cancer. One of the simplest and the most common ways is the food we ingest. There are several foods that are carcinogenic in nature (such as highly processed meats) or are derived from carcinogenic sources. Recognizing and eliminating these foods should be your priority.
The next step is to identify the foods that help fight cancer or enable your body to fight cancerous cells at an instant. There is no complete antidote to cancer, but with a regular diet of cancer preventing foods, we can try to avoid it. There is no one food that can prevent every kind of cancer, but different foods help reduce the chances of getting different types of cancer.
We, at HPFY, have listed eight of the most common foods that can help prevent as well as fight cancer to some extent.
A common ingredient in salads, olive oil has been considered a healthy ingredient since the very beginning of human civilization. The Greeks were huge consumers of olive oil, which was then exported to the Mediterranean and became common throughout the world by the 20th century. Olive oil has been known to have many health benefits which include anti-cancer properties.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the US. 19 studies have proven that olive oil reduces the risk of breast cancer and cancer of the digestive system. Studies have also shown that olive oil reduces the chances of colorectal cancer.
Olive oil can be used for cooking, baking, roasting, and salads. Regular consumption of olive oil can have multiple health benefits and it’s economical.
A spice that originates in Asia, turmeric has been prevalent as a medicinal food since ancient times. It has been proven to have exceptional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, has been proven through multiple studies to decrease lesions and tumors. It also stops the spread the colon cancer cells by targeting a specific enzyme that spreads cancer. Asian foods often have turmeric. Small proportions of turmeric in our food can benefit our health in multiple ways.
Another common ingredient used around the world is the humble tomato - a gold mine of antioxidants. The active component of tomatoes, lycopene, has been linked with anti-cancer properties.
A warrior against prostate cancer, tomatoes have many other health benefits that include enhanced blood circulation, heart disease prevention, improved bone health, and much more.
A couple of tomatoes every day can help you stay healthy and arm your body to fight different conditions, including cancer.
These modest foods that grow beneath the ground are a rich source of sulfur. Sulfur has been proven to inhibit the formation of nitrosamine, which is a prominent carcinogen that targets multiple organs and is a factor that causes different types of cancer.
Used in loads of food preparation around the US, garlic and onions can be added to all kinds of dishes. Onions are consumed raw in many preparations like salads, sandwiches, burgers, etc. But sometimes, garlic is also recommended to be consumed raw. Along with fighting cancer, garlic helps combat the common cold, reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, etc.
Onions are loaded with antioxidants, and help control blood sugar, boost bone density, and have several antibacterial properties.
Umpteen studies have proven that plant protein is way more effective than animal protein in combating or preventing cancer. Foods like lentils, beans, chickpeas, and tofu are rich with protein. Plant protein helps in preventing muscle loss, increasing bone density, and enhancing blood circulation. It helps in maintaining the overall health of the body and ensures optimum functioning of every system. This goes a long way in preventing different types of cancers, as cancer usually affects the regions or the organs that are the unhealthiest or the most vulnerable.
Some plant protein-based foods also contain good amounts of fiber that helps in preventing colorectal cancer. The fiber allows for a healthy digestive system, which in turn keeps cancer away.
Green, leafy vegetables contain some of the most important nutrients required for a healthy body. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains sulfur compounds which create an environment that inhibits the growth of carcinogenic enzymes, thus preventing cancer. Though it hasn’t be definitively proven that broccoli is directly responsible for the prevention of cancer, its many advantages coupled with other cancer fighting foods definitively helps the body stay healthy.
Spinach contains great amounts of fiber and folic acid that are known to fight cancer. Folic acid also helps greatly in maintaining the health of pregnant women, providing nutrition to both the mother and the child. Fiber helps fight colon cancer. It also increases the density of bones and helps fight heart disease.
One of the most loved fruits in the world; melon is a rich source of vitamin C. Several studies have revealed that watermelon, papaya, and cantaloupe play a role in reducing the chances of breast cancer. Also, the consumption of melon by pregnant women may help in reducing the chances of cancer in the baby.
The bitter melon or bitter gourd has been proven to fight against various cancer cells indirectly. The constituents of the bitter melon help in cutting the supply of glucose to the carcinogenic cells, thus inhibiting their growth.
The antioxidants and carotenes present in melon is also linked to lowered risks of gallbladder, thyroid, and colon cancer.
Fatty fish to be specific contain omega 3 fatty acids that have been heavily linked to reducing chances of colon cancer. Fatty fish include salmon, tuna, herring, etc. One can also eat products or foods derived from fishes, such as fish oils and caviar.
Fishes also contain copious amounts of protein, iodine, and minerals that help in maintaining the overall health of the body. They are some of the healthiest foods in the world.
Fishes have been linked to reducing the chances of leukemia in children. The iodine in fish, aids in reducing the chances of thyroid cancer.
There were about 15.5 million cancer survivors in the US in 2016. The number has grown since then. Everyday people are diagnosed with cancer in the states. In such a situation, it becomes paramount for us to make major lifestyle and dietary changes to ensure that cancer stays away. Choosing the right food, eliminating the hazardous ones, is a good first step towards fighting cancer.
At HPFY, we are all focused on the fight towards cancer, aiding patients and survivors with information that can make their life easy, comfortable, and safe.
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Taikhum Sadiq has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016.
He is an archaeology student and is passionate about learning about the past and how it impacts our future. He believes ...
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