People often talk about berries, fatty fish, walnuts, and other items as cancer-fighting foods. It means they contain nutrients that may lower the risk of developing cancer.
No foods protect people against cancer completely, but some foods contain nutrients that may help reduce the risk.
It is worth noting that polyphenols, resveratrol, vitamin C, and other nutrients are present in many plant-based foods. Consuming a varied diet that includes the items mentioned below may help keep a person healthy and reduce their risk of cancer.
This article looks at some foods that may lower the risk of cancer. It also explains the science that supports these claims.
There may be some truth to the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples contain polyphenols that have promising anticancer properties.
Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that may prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and infections.
This polyphenol inhibits a protein called glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2), which plays a role in advanced-stage cell growth in certain types of cancer.
Berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Their antioxidant content may mean they have health benefits.
The authors of a
There is also evidence they may help prevent or slow the development of various cancers, including breast cancer and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, contain beneficial nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
Cruciferous vegetables also contain sulforaphane, a plant compound with potential anticancer properties.
Other research shows that sulforaphane in combination with genistein — a compound in soybeans — can significantly inhibit breast cancer tumor development and size. Sulforaphane also inhibits histone deacetylase, an enzyme with links to cancer development.
One review suggests
Carrots contain several essential nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
Carrots also contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which is responsible for the distinct orange color.
Recent studies reveal that beta-carotene plays a vital role in supporting the immune system and may prevent certain types of cancer.
Another analysis shows that higher consumption of carrots results in a
Fatty fish, including salmon, mackerel, and anchovies, is rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamin B, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
One study found that people with diets high in freshwater fish had a
Finally, a review of data for 68,109 people found that those who consumed fish oil supplements at least four times a week were
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, all nuts appear to have cancer-preventing properties, but scientists have studied walnuts more than other types.
Walnuts contain a substance called pedunculagin, which the body metabolizes into urolithins. Urolithins are compounds that bind to estrogen receptors and may play a role in preventing breast cancer.
In one animal
In 2019, females with breast cancer ate walnuts for
Researchers tested tumor tissue samples removed during surgery and compared them with the original biopsy results. They found signs that genetic changes had taken place, which could suggest the suppression of cancerous cell growth.
Legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils, are high in fiber, which may help lower the risk of some types of cancer.
The study results indicated that people with diets high in bean fiber were 20% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who did not meet their daily fiber intake.
Resveratrol, an antioxidant in red grape skins,
As well as resveratrol, grapes and grape seeds
- phenolic acids
- anthocyanins (in red and purple grapes)
- proanthocyanidins and other tannins
Supplements can also provide nutrients and antioxidants that may help prevent cancer by reducing oxidative stress,
Most of the plant-based compounds listed throughout this article, such as phloretin, anthocyanin, and sulforaphane, come in pill form.
Always speak with a medical professional before starting a new medication or supplement regimen.
Research into preventing cancer through diet is still in the early stages and requires further testing. Scientists carried out most of the studies mentioned in cells or mice.
However, it is important to remember that eating a balanced diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and good fats will benefit overall health.
How can diet reduce the risk of the following cancer types?