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Foods That Kill Cancer Cells (Cont'd)

Eat to beat cancer! We combed through the most recent research on foods and nutrients that can kill cancer cells and are delighted to bring you this list of cancer-preventing foods. The foods included feature a wide range of nutrients that have been shown to kill cancer cells and fight cancer through a number of other mechanisms.

Note that this is the last page of a three-page article on foods that can kill cancer cells and that can thus help prevent many types of cancer. If you missed the previous pages, you can view them by clicking on page 1 or page 2.

#21: Salmon

Rich in omega-3s and astaxanthin, salmon is an excellent anti-cancer food.

Salmon is a great anti-cancer food. It provides an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids — a type of fatty acids that are often in short supply in Western diets. Omega-3s are believed to have a protective effect against cancer. In addition to omega-3s, salmon contains another interesting anti-cancer nutrient: astaxanthin. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon its pink color, is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to scavenge free radicals. To get the most astaxanthin, choose wild salmon. Astaxanthin levels have been reported to be much higher in wild salmon (particularly in sockeye salmon) than in farmed salmon. What's more, wild salmon contains only low levels of PCBs, harmful chemicals that are often found in high quantities in farmed salmon. That said, moderation should be the key also in the consumption of wild salmon. Too frequent/high a consumption of salmon and other fish may predispose you to an excessive exposure to certain toxins — such as mercury and pesticides — contained in fish. The FDA recommends eating fish twice a week, but not more often. This advice is particularly important for pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant because the toxins in fish can impair the neurological development of the unborn baby.

#22: Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms can make a great addition to your anti-cancer diet. These earthy edibles a great source of selenium, with one cup of shiitake mushrooms providing more than half of the recommended daily intake for this anti-cancer mineral. Furthermore, shiitake mushrooms are one of the best sources of beta-glucans. According to some human studies, beta-glucans can help fight cancer — including skin, breast, gastric and lung cancer — by passing immune cells into the cancerous area and by destroying cancer cells. The anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties of beta-glucans have also been observed in numerous animal tests. Shiitake mushrooms, which boast a delicious meaty flavor, are well suited for adding a meaty touch to vegetarian dishes.

Fish roe
Fish eggs deliver even more omega-3s than fatty fish.

#23: Fish Eggs

A little goes a long way when it comes to fish eggs. Fish eggs are one of the best dietary sources of EPA and DHA which are types of omega-3 fatty acids. Ounce for ounce, fish eggs contain even more omega-3s than the fattiest fish. A study, which analyzed the roe of fifteen marine animals, found that the roe of lumpsucker, hake, and salmon were the richest in terms of omega-3 fatty acids.

#24: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, one of the oldest vegetables known to man, are highly nutritious and an excellent addition to any anti-cancer diet. The pink, orange, and yellow varieties are one of the most concentrated dietary sources of beta-carotene (the more intense the color, the more beta-carotene). In addition, sweet potatoes contain vitamin C as well as unique root proteins which, according to some preliminary studies, have significant antioxidant properties. As an added bonus, sweet potatoes are usually low in pesticides, even the non-organically grown produce.

#25:  Kale

The health benefits of kale are wide and varied. One of the most interesting health benefits of this relatively unknown member of the cabbage family is its high concentration of anti-cancer nutrients. Kale is supercharged with vitamin C and beta-carotene (kale contains ten times the beta-carotene of broccoli, which is a close relative of kale). As a result of its high content of vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as a number of other antioxidant phytonutrients, kale is at the top of the list of vegetables with the highest ORAC rating. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measure of the total antioxidant power of foods. Kale can be eaten raw, for example as a substitute for lettuce in salads, or you can transform the hearty green leaves of kale into a savory side dish by sautéing them and adding onions, garlic and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

#26:  Cherries

Cherries contain perillyl alcohol (POH), which has been found to be effective at destroying a variety of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. When buying cherries, it is wise to choose organically grown fruit whenever possible as conventionally grown cherries often contain high levels of pesticides and other chemical compounds.

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For more information on the nutritional approach to preventing cancer, see also: