Top 14 Foods That Protect Against Cancer Development

It has been proven scientifically: what we eat may cause us cancer. The best American cancer researchers have determined which foods we need to be careful of, and which foods are effective in preventing the disease. Relationship between diet and cancer has been shown in many studies conducted in recent decades. But what exactly is the relationship? Which foods or food components can help prevent colon cancer, breast cancer or stomach cancer?

These questions and more are examined in recent years by leading experts in the field of cancer research worldwide. In this article you will find out which foods and key nutrients were proven to increase or decrease the risk of cancer.

Foods that protect against cancer development


1. Fiber rich foods

Such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (such as beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils) and herbs. These foods prevent colon cancer and rectal cancer. There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber help reduce the transit time of food in the digestive system, and reduce your exposure to toxic and carcinogenic factors. Soluble fibers are fermented by bacteria in the colon and become short-chain fatty acids, which has a positive effect on the colon cells.

2. Fruits and vegetables

They apparently prevent cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and stomach cancer (fruits probably also protect against lung cancer). Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of components that help prevent cancer:

2.1. They contain important antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help fight free radicals that cause damage to the DNA of the cell. This can lead to cancerous transformation – the process by which normal cell becomes a cancer cell.

2.2. They contain phytochemicals that delay cancerous processes by helping to maintain the normal function of the immune system. They can also repair the damage done to the DNA of the cells.

2.3. They are rich in dietary fibers, soluble and insoluble.

2.4. They are relatively low in calories, so they help to maintain a healthy body weight – a factor which by itself was found to have great importance in cancer prevention.

3. Vegetables and fruits that contain beta-carotene

Such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, mangoes, loquats, peaches, apricots, cantaloupe melon and more. These apparently prevent esophageal cancer. Beta-carotene is a natural pigment found in food. It plays a significant role in communication between cells that can help prevent cancer, as well as significant antioxidant. Additionally, this component is called pro-vitamin A, because it is converted by the body to vitamin A, which is Important to normal function of the immune system and the operation of enzymes that work to delay cancer.

4. Cabbage family vegetables

Such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, mustard greens and roquette. These apparently prevent various cancers and contain anti cancer components that remove pollutants and carcinogens and thus effectively protect against many types of cancer.

5. Onion family vegetables

Such as onion, spring onions, scallions, chives and leeks. These apparently prevent stomach cancer and lung cancer. Vegetables from this family contain sulphur compounds (giving them the unique smell), that encourage creating protective enzymes that neutralize carcinogens and thereby protect against stomach cancer. They also contain quercetin, especially protective against lung cancer.

6. Garlic

Apparently prevents colon cancer and rectal cancer. Garlic contains a unique sulphur compound called allicin. This compound protects colon cells from the toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals, and even works to stop growth of cancer cells that have already begun to develop. In addition, it was found that garlic works to reduce inflammation in the body that is linked to the development of cancerous processes.

7. Vegetables and fruits rich in lycopene

Such as tomatoes (tomato paste as well), watermelon, cantaloupe melon, guava, pink grapefruit and blood orange. Apparently they prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene is considered to have powerful antioxidant capabilities. It also inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells, enhances the immune system, and like garlic, reduces inflammatory processes in the body.

8. Vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C

Such as peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, guava and strawberry. Apparently they prevent esophageal cancer. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble antioxidant that fills an important role in neutralizing free radicals in the watery part of our body tissues. Berries are especially rich in vitamin C.

9. Selenium rich foods

Such as tuna fish, egg yolk, chicken liver and Brazil nuts. Apparently they prevent prostate cancer. One possible explanation relates to the involvement of selenium  in the creation of a certain antioxidant enzyme created in our body naturally. Thanks to this enzyme there is a decreases in the activity of free radicals that damage the DNA of the cells.

10. Foods that contain folic acid

Such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables (spinach, parsley, dill, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli) and beetroot. Apparently they prevent pancreatic cancer. It is believed that the mechanism of the folic acid, which belongs to the group of B-vitamins, based on delaying cancer-causing genes. In addition, folic acid plays an important role in the production of DNA, as well as preventing cell changes that turn it from normal cell to a cancer cell.

11. Foods that contain calcium

Such as milk and milk products, cabbage, broccoli, almonds, sesame seeds and tahini. Apparently they prevent colon cancer and rectal cancer. Milk and dairy products contain calcium in addition to vitamin D.  These two components are interrelated closely, since both help to normal division of the cells, delay activity of cancer cells and accelerates destruction of colon cancer cells. Another theory for calcium is that this mineral prevents intestinal irritation, that is probably one of the causes of these cancers. Calcium also helps in regulating the rate of cell division in the gut in people with an increased risk of disruption of the normal rate. Note: It has found that a high consumption of calcium – 1,500 milligrams or more per day – is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in men. However, this is a very high amount of calcium, almost unlikely to be consumed by diet.

12. Legumes

Such as beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas. According to studies it appears that a higher intake of legumes reduced risk of cancer of various types such as stomach, colon – rectum, prostate and lung cancer. Legumes contain a variety of health-promoting components such as water-soluble fiber that have anti-cancer effect. In addition, plant components also found in legumes such as red beans, peas and lentils, were found to have anti-cancer effects.

13. Olive oil

High consumption of olive oil is the hallmark of the traditional Mediterranean diet and is associated with a lower incidence of cancer, including colon and rectum cancer, compared with other Western countries.

14. Turmeric

Various studies have shown that turmeric and its extracts inhibit cancer processes and the development of various tumors such as skin cancer, stomach, duodenum, tongue, colon, breast and prostate cancer.

Not only nutrition:

There are more proven factors that reduce or increase the risk of cancer:

1. Exercise: there is convincing evidence that exercise reduces the risk of colon cancer, rectal cancer, breast cancer and endometrial cancer.

2. Breastfeeding: there is convincing evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.

3. Body weight and fat: excess body weight and a high percentage of body fat encourage the development of esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer and kidney cancer.

Foods that promote cancer development


Below the brief summary of foods that promote cancer:

1. Red meat and processed meats

Including sausages and frozen meats. These increase colon cancer and rectal cancer. Red meat contains substances that create processes suspected to be carcinogens. When frying or barbecuing on a high flame the damage is even greater. Also, processed meats and frozen meats contain these compounds in advance. These are inserted to the meat to better preserve it and prevent bacterial growth, as well as for other purposes, such as improving the colour of the meat to look “fresh” and shining.

2. Alcohol

Increases oral cancer, pharynx and larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum and breast cancer. There are several theories that refer to the fact that alcohol turns into our body to acetaldehyde, a substance that causes a feeling of drunkenness and hangover, and causes irreparable damage to the DNA of the cells. In addition, alcohol increases the absorption of chemicals in our body from other sources such as cigarette smoke. In relation to breast cancer, studies have found that alcohol increases the level of estrogen in the body. High levels of estrogen are known to encourage the development of breast cancer. It has been found that when drinking alcohol on a daily basis, each unit of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer by 7% -11%.

3. Salt, soup powders, soy sauce, ketchup and processed foods

Apparently they increase the risk of stomach cancer. A link has been found between diet based on foods high in sodium to increased risk of stomach cancer. An epidemiological study published in June 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet high in salt can increase in 10% the risk of stomach cancer.

source: healthyandnaturalworld