List of Anti-Cancer Foods (Cont'd)
Take control of your health by adding some of the following anti-cancer foods to your eating plan. These 26 super-foods are loaded with a wide range of anti-cancer nutrients such as anthocyanins, selenium, vitamin C, falcarinol and allicin.
Note that this is the second page of a three-page article on the best anti-cancer foods. If you missed the first page of the article, click here.
Blueberries are one of the greatest health foods of all time and a great anti-cancer food. In a laboratory test conducted by USDA researchers, wild blueberries were shown to have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating of more than 20 fruits and berries. ORAC is a measure of the antioxidant capacity of foods. The antioxidant activity of wild blueberries was even stronger than that of raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, plums, and cultivated blueberries. The antioxidant and anti-cancer powers of blueberries can be attributed to a number of remarkable compounds they contain, including ellagic acid, anthocyanins, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
#12: Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are the nature's best dietary source of selenium, with a single Brazil nut providing more than the US reference daily intake! Several population studies suggest that the risk of death from cancer, including, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers, is lower among people with a higher intake of the trace mineral selenium. Death rates from cancer are significantly lower in areas of the world where selenium is abundant in the soil than in areas where selenium levels are low. Selenium is believed to reduce cancer risk in two ways: First, selenium is an important constituent of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme with anti-oxidant properties which can help protect the body from damaging effects of free radicals. Second, selenium is believed to prevent tumor growth by boosting the immune system and inhibiting the development of blood vessels to the tumor. It is recommended that you get your selenium intake through diet, by eating Brazil nuts for example, rather than through supplements; high-dose selenium supplements can be risky due to the narrow margin between safe and toxic doses of selenium.
Avocados have long been touted for their contribution to beautiful skin, but they can do much more than that. Recent research suggests that avocados may be highly effective at reducing the risk of cancer, particularly oral and prostate cancer. This is not surprising, considering that avocados are brimming with a wealth of anti-cancer nutrients. Together with asparagus they top the list of the best dietary sources of glutathione. Furthermore, avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E and a good source of vitamin C. As an additional bonus, these creamy, green fruits are typically low in pesticides.
Almost everyone knows that carrots are good for eyesight, but did you know that they are also an excellent anti-cancer vegetable? Carrots contain falcarinol — a compound that has been shown to inhibit the development of cancer. Researchers found that rats that had pre-cancerous tumors and that were fed carrots were one third less likely to develop full-scale tumors than the animals in the control group. To get the most falcarinol, eat your carrots raw or steamed. If you steam or boil them, it is best to keep them whole during steaming and chop them only afterwards; this helps the vegetables retain nutrients such as falcarinol. One study found that carrots that were boiled before cutting contained 25% more falcarinol than carrots that were cut before cooking.
Aside from their cancer fighting properties, carrots offer a plenitude of other health benefits, so it's definitely worth adding them to your diet (for further information, read the article Health Benefits of Eating Carrots).
When crushed or chopped, garlic produces allicin. Allicin, which gives garlic its typical aroma and taste, has been shown to prevent certain types of cancer, when consumed regularly. Population studies have also found that people living in countries with a high consumption of garlic (e.g. China, Japan, France) have a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including stomach, colon, pancreatic, esophageal, and breast cancer. To fully enjoy the health-promoting effects of garlic, allow crushed garlic sit for 10 minutes before eating or cooking — this leaves enough time for allicin to form after crushing.
Rosehips, the fruit of the rose plant, are loaded with cancer-fighting nutrients. They are one of the best natural sources of proanthocyanidins, phytochemicals that are known to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor activity. In addition to that, wild rosehips are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C. They are also a relatively good source of vitamin E. Rosehips, which have a tangy taste similar to cranberries, can be eaten fresh or used in jams and pies. In some countries, like Sweden, they are also used in soups and stews. Keep in mind, though, that before you can consume rosehips the outer fleshy part of each orb must be removed because of the fine hairs they contain.
The health benefits of broccoli are well documented, and this super-healthy green vegetable is definitely one of the best foods you can eat if you want to turbo-charge your anti-cancer diet. Broccoli contains several extraordinary compounds that have been shown to eliminate carcinogenic toxins, reduce DNA mutation, induce apoptosis in cancerous cells, help prevent the development of benign tumors into malignant tumors, and help prevent the spread of cancer from one organ to another. Broccoli sprouts, which are available at many health food stores, are a particularly rich source of cancer-fighting compounds, but also broccoli florets provide significant amounts. To maximize the benefits of broccoli, eat it raw or slightly steamed. Consumption of raw, crushed broccoli has been shown to result in faster and better absorption of the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli. According to one study, cooking may destroy as much as 90% of sulforaphane — the key anti-cancer substance in broccoli.
#18: Dark Chocolate (in Moderation)
A moderate consumption of dark chocolate helps reduce the risk of cancer. The cacao bean, which is the base of all chocolate products, is one of the most antioxidant rich plants. According to studies, cacao powder contains up to three times the amount of antioxidant flavonoids found in green tea. Milk appears to interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate, and therefore milk chocolate and dark chocolate eaten with milk do not seem to have the same antioxidant effect as dark chocolate. When planning your anti-cancer diet, keep in mind that chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food, and therefore moderation should be exercised in the consumption of chocolate. Also most of the studies investigating the health benefits of chocolate were based on small serving sizes.
Tomatoes possess many extraordinary properties that make them an attractive functional food for preventing cancer, particularly prostate cancer. Their most interesting quality: they contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant. When incorporating tomato products into your diet, be aware that lycopene from processed tomato products — such as tomato paste, tomato juice, and catsup — is more bioavailable than lycopene from raw tomatoes. Further, lycopene is better absorbed by the body in the presence of beta-carotene. Interestingly, tomatoes also contain beta-carotene! In addition to lycopene and beta-carotene, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C.
Watercress is an anti-cancer food par excellence. Researchers have found daily consumption of watercress to reduce blood cell DNA damage. DNA damage in blood cells is an indicator of a person's overall cancer risk. Watercress contains phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a special mustard oil that is known to have significant anti-cancer properties. But the anti-cancer properties of watercress may also be attributable to the high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein contained in these little peppery leaves. One study found that consumption of watercress increased test subjects' blood levels of lutein and beta-carotene by 100% and 33%, respectively. Watercress is available in larger supermarkets year round, but you can also grow your own crop in your garden. Watercress makes a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches.Continue