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

List of 15 Foods That Can Prevent Skin Cancer Cell Growth (Cont'd)

Did you know that you can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, by changing the way you eat? Here's a list of foods that can help prevent the growth of skin cancer cells. By adding these skin cancer preventing foods to your eating plan you will not only do you skin a favor, but your entire body will benefit from the antioxidants, anti-cancer nutrients, and health boosting minerals these anti-skin cancer foods contain.

Note that this is the second page of a two-page article on foods that help prevent skin cancer. If you missed the first part of the article, click here.

#9: Asparagus

Rich in glutathione, asparagus is a great skin cancer fighting vegetable.

Asparagus is great food for the skin. Research shows that people who include asparagus in their diet have fewer wrinkles than people who do not eat these lovely spears. Asparagus is at the top of the list of foods with the highest concentration of glutathione — a strong antioxidant that has gained the spotlight in recent years. In addition to protecting cells from oxidation, glutathione has been shown to be effective at detoxifying foreign substances including carcinogens and at boosting the immune system by influencing lymphocytes. But not all of asparagus' skin health promoting properties are attributable to glutathione; asparagus is also a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C.

#10: Kale

When it comes to the best foods for preventing skin cancer, it is difficult to beat the superfood kale. This relatively unknown member of the cabbage family is a superhero vegetable cram-full of skin cancer preventing nutrients, including vitamin C and beta-carotene (kale contains 10 times the beta-carotene of broccoli). 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 in salads. The hearty green leaves of kale can also be transformed into a savory side dish by sautéing them and adding onions, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil.

Astaxanthin and omega-3 fats make salmon a superb weapon against skin cancer.

#11: Salmon

Salmon is a great food for anyone worried about getting a skin cancer. It provides an excellent source of omega 3-fatty acids — a type of fatty acids that are often in short supply in Western diets. Research suggests that these essential fatty acids can help protect the skin from UV damage. In addition to omega-3's, salmon contains another interesting nutrient: astaxanthin. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon its pink color, is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to scavenge free radicals created by skin exposed to ultraviolet rays. To get the most astaxanthin, opt for wild salmon. Astaxanthin levels are much higher in wild salmon (particularly in sockeye salmon) than in farmed salmon. Further, 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 or too 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 consuming fish twice a week, but not more often. Pregnant women and women who are trying to get pregnant should take this advice particularly seriously because the toxins in fish can impair the neurological development of the fetus.

#12: Horseradish

Horseradish can add a nice kick to scrambled eggs, salads, and vegetable dishes, but its benefits are not purely culinary. Horseradish is loaded with glucosinolates, compounds that have been shown to boost the liver's ability to eliminate carcinogens that could cause skin cancer. In addition, research indicates that glucosinolates may also help suppress the growth of cancerous tumors. Many cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, contain glucosinolates, but the amounts found in horseradish are much higher (according to some studies, horseradish may contain up to 10 times more glucosinolates than broccoli).

#13: Broccoli

Broccoli is well known for its strong anti-cancer properties.

The nutritional value of broccoli makes this brassica vegetable one of the best foods you can eat if you want to turbo-charge your anti-skin cancer diet. Broccoli contains some extraordinary compounds that have been shown to eliminate carcinogenic toxins, reduce DNA mutation, induce apoptosis in cancer 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. Cooking can destroy up to 90% of sulforaphane — the key anti-cancer substance in broccoli.

#14: Fish Eggs

A little goes a long way when it comes to fish eggs. Fish eggs are one of the best natural sources of DHA and EPA which are types of omega-3 fatty acids. Ounce for ounce, fish eggs contain even more omega-3's 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.

#15: Cherries

Cherries are naturally rich in perillyl alcohol (POH), a compound that has been found to be effective at destroying 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 how you can lower your risk of skin cancer through dietary choices, see: