(Natural News) Cancer is one of the most frightening and deadliest diseases known to man. It affects multiple organs of the body, and most organ-specific cancers have high mortality rates. Sadly, the number of cancer cases continue to rise each year, and pharmacological treatments are barely keeping up in terms of advancements. Cancer patients are also beginning to lament the costs and side effects of modern treatments, so some researchers have turned to exploring gentler, and more organic alternatives. These natural medicines have been in existence since the beginning of time, and they occur in the form of teas, herbs, and – more conveniently – food.
Cancer-fighting foods you should be eating
Science has come a long way in terms of understanding the biochemistry that makes certain foods medicinal. Today, food is used not only for nutrition, but also as a means to treat or preempt the development of diseases, even cancer. Below is a list of foods studies have identified to be potent anticancer agents.
Legumes. Legumes are plants (or their seeds or fruits) that can be easily found everywhere. They come in different varieties and are great sources of protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates. Popular legumes include beans, nuts, peas, and lentils – all staples of a vegetarian diet. A meta-analysis of cohort studies published in Scientific Reports associated high consumption of legumes with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Eating a diet rich in bean fiber also lowers the risk of an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Fatty fish. Fatty fish are constant inclusions to lists of foods that prevent or treat many health problems. This is due to the fact that fatty fish are rich in nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help the human body in various ways. For instance, consuming large amounts of freshwater fish and marine fish can lower the risk of colorectal cancer by 53 percent. Even fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of cancer by 49 percent.
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Walnuts. Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts on earth. They contain essential fats like ALA, antioxidants like vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory agents like polyphenols that work against chronic diseases and keep the gut healthy. Walnuts also have a compound called pedunculagin that is broken down inside the body to form urolithin. Urolithin can bind to estrogen receptors, making it a strong candidate for the prevention of breast cancer. An animal study also reported that walnuts can reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Berries. Berries are recommended as snacks because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Black raspberries, in particular, boast high amounts of anthocyanin, an antioxidant plant pigment that promotes the expression of tumor suppressor genes. Blueberries also have anti-inflammatory components that stop the metastasis of triple negative breast cancers. Aside from anticancer properties, berries also have cardioprotective activities that make them beneficial for heart health.
Apples. Apples are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B-complex (B1, B2, and B6). Like berries, apples also provide an abundance of polyphenols that can prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, viral infections, and cancer. A recent study in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis reported that the apple polyphenol phloretin inhibits the migration and proliferation of breast cancer cells. The dietary fiber found in apples also lowers the risk of certain cancers.
Vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are low in calorie but high in fiber and nutrients. Researchers associate these vegetables with a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane. In a recent study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, researchers reported that sulforaphane and genistein – a compound found in soy – can stop cell cycle progression in cancer cell lines. Both plant components also alter epigenetic processes in a way that is favorable for cancer prevention. Besides cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables like garlic and leeks also offer anticancer benefits.