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Guide to Preventing Pancreatic Cancer  ( Home | Diet | Foods | Recipes )

16 Foods That Help Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

foods that prevent pancreatic cancer

Discover healthy eats that can decrease your chances of getting pancreatic cancer! Here's a list of super-foods that can help prevent pancreatic cancer – the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States – thanks to the abundance of cancer-fighting nutrients these healing foods contain. After getting familiar with the pancreatic cancer preventing foods listed below, check out our pancreatic cancer fighting recipes which feature some of the best pancreatic cancer fighting foods.

Note: Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease and requires immediate medical attention. The information on this page and elsewhere on this website has not been reviewed by medical professionals, nor is it intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a professional health care provider.

#1:  Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno peppers are an superb food for fighting pancreatic cancer cells. These peppers are a great source of vitamin B6, with a mere cup of sliced jalapeno peppers providing 23% of the recommended daily intake for this important anti-panreatic cancer vitamin. They also provide a slew of other nutrients known to fight pancreatic cancer, including folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Further, recent studies suggest that capsaicin, the major pungent ingredient in jalapeno peppers, can kill pancreatic cancer cells by attacking the cells' mitochondria, their energy factories, without harming the surrounding healthy cells.

Raspberries provide an excellent source of pancreatic cancer fighting ellagic acid.

#2:  Raspberries

Raspberries are bursting with nutrients and flavor, yet they are very low in calories. Clinical studies suggest that daily consumption of red raspberries can help prevent pancreatic cancer, most probably due to their high concentration of ellagic acid. While ellagic acid is found in a number of foods, red raspberries are by far the best dietary source of this miraculous cancer-fighting substance (1,500 mcg per gram of dry weight fruit extract). Ellagic acid is a proven anti-carcinogen, anti-mutagen, and an inhibitor of cancer. It may also be able to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. Furthermore, the ellagic acid found in red raspberries retains its potency through heating and freezing. So, regardless of whether you eat your raspberries fresh, frozen or heated, you will reap their cancer-fighting benefits.

#3:  Green Tea

The weight loss promoting effects of green tea are well-known, but the health benefits of drinking green tea are more varied than that. Indeed, evidence suggests that green tea may also help prevent pancreatic cancer as well as other types of cancer. In one large-scale study researchers found that those who drank the most tea were significantly less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who drank little green tea. This effect was more pronounced among women than men — those women who consumed the most green tea were half as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as those who drank little tea. Men who drank the most tea had a 37% lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer. These protective effects are likely to be linked to the high concentration of catechins found in green tea. Catechins are phytochemical compounds that are known to be highly effective at protecting cells against DNA damage caused by free radicals. Catechins have also been shown to suppress urokinase, a type of enzyme that is thought to play a key role in cancer cell metastasis (spreading). When buying green tea, choose loose tea leaves instead of tea bags as the release of catechins is better from loose leaves. You may also want to add a bit of citrus juice rich in vitamin C to your tea — research suggests that vitamin C can make the catechins in green tea more available for the body to absorb.

#4:  Turmeric

Turmeric is a superhero spice for combating pancreatic cancer and other cancers.

This extraordinary root plant of the ginger family has a long history in traditional Asian medicine as a remedy for numerous diseases. In recent years, also modern Western medicine has began to pay greater attention to turmeric. Turmeric has been shown to possess cancer fighting properties that may make it effective against many types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. For example, it has been found to contain a compound that can identify potential cancer cells by their abnormal chemistry and consequently induce self-destruction of these harmful cells — without damaging healthy cells. Furthermore, turmeric contains strong antioxidant compounds and may prevent nitrosamine formation and inhibit aflatoxin production — two processes which have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.

#5:  Carrots

You may have heard that carrots are good for our eyes and vision, but did you know that these delicious vegetables may also help protect against pancreatic cancer? Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. In addition, they contain falcarinol, a natural compound that has been shown to be able 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.

#6:  Salmon

Salmon provides an excellent source of omega 3-fatty acids — a type of fatty acids that Western diets are often deficient in. Omega-3s are believed to have a protective effect against pancreatic cancer and other types of cancer. In addition to omega-3s, salmon (particularly wild salmon) provides plenty of astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon its pink color and that has strong antioxidant activity. In addition to boasting higher levels of astaxanthin, wild salmon contains lower levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), harmful chemicals that are often found in high quantities in farmed salmon. That said, moderation should be practiced also in the consumption of wild salmon. Too frequent or too high a consumption of salmon 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. Pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant should take this advice particularly seriously because the toxins in fish can impair the neurological development of the fetus.

#7:  Kale

The health-protecting properties of kale are wide and varied. One of the most interesting health benefits of kale is the potential ability of this super-food to preventpancreatic cancer. This nutritional heavyweight is loaded with cancer fighting nutrients such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. It contains ten times the beta-carotene of broccoli, which is a close relative of kale. This green leafy veggie also tops the list of vegetables rich in the flavonoid kaempferol (one pound kale contains more than 100 mg kaempferol). One cohort study with nearly 200,000 participants found that out of quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin — three famous cancer-fighting flavonoids — kaempferol was associated with the largest decrease in the risk of pancreatic cancer. Kaempferol has been shown to inhibit pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and to induce cancer cell apoptosis. Kale can be eaten raw in salads, or you can transform the beautiful green leaves of kale into a delicious warm dish by steaming or sautéing them.

#8:  Cabbage

A regular consumption of cabbage may help protect susceptible individuals against pancreatic cancer. Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C, but it also contains vitamin B6 and folate. What's more, cabbage produces glucosinolates when the plant is sliced, chopped, or chewed. Glucosinolates are anti-carcinogenic compounds that have been shown to limit the amount of DNA damage and cell mutation as well as to inhibit the processes that prevent programmed cell death and promote uncontrolled cell growth. In order to get the most benefit from cabbage, eat it raw or short-cooked; cooking destroys vitamin C and denatures the enzyme that is responsible for the production of glucosinolates. It is also advisable to buy organically grown cabbage as organically grown produce has been shown to contain significantly higher amounts of glucosinolates than its conventionally grown counterpart.

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