Top Cancer-Fighting Foods & Lifestyle Practices

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When it comes to cancer you can stack the odds in your favour - by doing things that give you the best chance of avoiding it.

Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom, actually supplies humanity with an array of cancer-fighting foods.

And the more we dig deeper into these foods and the habits that prevent cancer, the more we begin to realise that it's the simplest strategies that stack the odds in our favour in not becoming a cancer statistic.

The founding father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, used to teach: Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food.  But sadly this adage has become largely forgotten in today's medical world.

Plant foods are loaded with an abundance of naturally occurring phytonutrients and antioxidants which are cancer-fighting compounds.

So really, the first step in avoiding Cancer is simply to ensure that you're embracing a diet that is rich in these amazing whole foods. 

The Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

When it comes to minimising your cancer risks, it's no surprise that the all of  recommended foods to prevent cancer are plant-based.

This is because there's enough research today to prove that one of the biggest causes of Cancer is from eating too much dead animal flesh.

On the other hand, a plant-based diet dramatically decreases your likelihood of getting cancer, because fruits are nature's number one detoxifier and vegetables are the protectives that build your blood and strength.

Only plants deliver the following key, cancer-fighting nutrients:

  • Antioxidants: They work to keep free radicals in check, so the body remains harmonious;
  • Phytochemicals: The vast array of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that naturally occur in plant matter, that have cancer-fighting properties. By eating a plant-based diet, you're naturally supercharging your immune system and making it more resilient to disease.

Learn more in: What Are Whole Foods?: 7 Things You Need To Know. 

Some of nature's most powerful cancer-fighting foods are:

Vegetables

  • Cruciferous Vegetables: Like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, these delicious vegetables have a plant compound called sulforaphane that halts and kills potentially harmful cells. Eating three to five servings of lightly steamed or raw cruciferous vegetables a week will help decrease the odds of colorectal and breast cancers;
  • Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens are loaded with chlorophyl which builds the blood. Your blood is the building blocks of everything i.e. spinach, lettuce, silverbeet, rocket and chard. Dark leafy greens are also potent antioxidants that cleanse the body of free radicals before they get the chance to inflict harm. They also are effective in preventing skin, breast, lung and stomach cancers, so remember to eat at least a handful of greens with every meal!

Fruit

  • Apples: An apple a day may keep cancer away too. Apples contain the anti-inflammatory nutrient polyphenol that also inhibits cancer cell growth. Eating apples can help prevent breast cancer and reduce tumour growth because the pectins in Apples naturally support the release of toxic residues stored in the lymphatic stream;
  • Berries: Berries are excellent for your health with high levels of antioxidants, such as anthocyanin, that stop tumour growth and reduce inflammation. Eat a variety of berries daily to prevent the growth of cancer cells and to protect against colorectal, oral or oesophageal cancers. Another way to add berries into your diet is mixing in BERRY Raw Juice Powder to your smoothie.
  • Citrus Fruits: Rich in Vitamin C, Grapefruit, lemon, lime and oranges contain antioxidants and beta-carotene that can decrease your risk to stomach, upper respiratory cancers and even breast cancer.  When you slice a citrus fruit, the composition and shape looks just like the mammary structure of the female breast. A diet that consists of regular consumption of citrus fruits will help to keep you healthy by reducing all kinds of inflammation in the body;
  • Grapes: Grapes contain a potent cancer-fighting ingredient, resveratrol an antioxidant that aggressively fights cancer cells and helps prevent cancer from forming.  They also look like blood cells and the flavonoids have a profound impact of on cleansing and removing plaque from the blood that can be the leading cause of high blood pressure and heart-related cancers;
  • Tomatoes: Increasing your intake of tomatoes and the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene will help to protect you from skin and prostate cancers. A staple Mediterranean food, it's no wander that cultures from this region have far less incidence of heart disease and cancer.  Enjoy your tomatoes raw, cooked or in sauce form.

Legumes

  • Beans & Lentils: Are high in fibre, and if eaten weekly, they can help reduce the incident of colon cancer;
  • Nuts: Walnuts are incredibly nutritious and contain polyphenols an antioxidant that protects against free radicals. They also contain a plant compound that reduces cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids for cleansing plaque from the body and brain. Brazil Nuts are loaded with Selenium, a compound known to fight and dramatically reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Other

  • Turmeric: Known to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing, Turmeric or Curcumin is a potent and delicious herb to spice up your Asian cooking; 
  • Flaxseed: Eat ground or liquid flaxseed daily to help stop the growth or kill cancer cells with its high levels of fibre and healthy fats;
  • Garlic: One of the greatest cancer fighting foods in the plant kingdom, just one teaspoon of garlic also contains vast nutrients which are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and gut healing.

Beverages

  • Coffee: Natural, non-chemically infused Coffee beans contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect the body and halts tumour growth, as well as compounds that help to stimulate and cleanse the digestive system;
  • Tea: Especially, authentic green tea can help prevent cancer growth in most types of cancer;
  • Water: Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it also flushes out anything harmful. Clean water is essential to life and will help to protect the bladder from cancer while assisting the transport of waste from the body. Drink at least two litres per day.

Learn more in: Top 7 Reasons To Embrace A Plant Based Diet & How To Do It.

Foods To Avoid

There are many wonderful cancer-fighting foods to incorporate into your daily routine, but what are the foods you want to avoid, to further decrease your risk of disease?

There won't be any surprises as you skim the list of foods that are not great for your overall health.

Fast Food

A staple to the Western-diet leads to obesity as well as a slew of other health issues. These quick processed meals are often devoid of proper nutrition and laden with the wrong types of fat, refined carbohydrates and processed sugar.

Rather than relying on convenient meals, try meal planning and prepare some make-ahead meals that you can freeze for a fast dinner. If you need some kitchen inspiration try picking up a cookbook like Elsa’s Wholesome Life or Plant Food.

Sugar

Processed or refined sugar is a no go zone if you want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding cancer.

Everything from soda pop, to packaged breakfast cereals and bottles of ketchup contain processed or refined sugar. The trouble with excessive amounts of sugar is two-fold: it contributes to obesity, inflammation and can lead to the formation of other diseases like diabetes by causing the pancreas to over produce insulin. All of which can increase your risk to cancer.

Learn more in: Overcoming Sugar Addiction & The Best Natural Substitutes.

Processed Meats

Evidence continues to mount that consuming processed meats, even in low quantities, have a direct correlation to colorectal cancer. 

If you're going to eat meat, make sure it has undergone no processing whatsoever, is no more than 20% of your diet, and ensure that it's grass fed, wild caught, without any growth hormones added.

Alcohol

While the resveratrol found in wine has been linked to cancer-fighting benefits, the ethanol in alcohol is a known carcinogenic, and has been shown to increase cancer risk, especially in women—even in moderate consumption. To decrease your risk of cancer, it’s best to severely limit or restrict alcohol consumption.

Learn more in: Cancer-Causing Chemicals In Supermarket Foods.

Reduce Your Risk Further, Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle

Eating high-quality, whole plant-based foods is one of the easiest, most effective ways to help minimise your risk of diseases like cancer.

Treat your body like a temple, honour what you feed it and the more it will reward you with great health and less discomfort and dis-ease.

You can't expect your body to perform well if you load up on animal proteins, sugary beverages, wine coolers and overly processed fast foods—all of which will increase your chances of disease. Should you want to take cancer-fighting foods up a notch and do everything you can to limit your risk, try adopting a healthier lifestyle too. It's never too late, nor do you need a reason to start right now. Do it for yourself; there is no better reason.

Exercise

Make exercise a part of your everyday life for greater health benefits. Anything from low impact activities like brisk walking or yoga to more intensive exercises like playing a sport or jogging. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Sit less. Aim to break up your day by stretching your legs to prevent weight gain and aspire for more than 75 minutes of heart-pumping exercise a week.

Learn more in: Top Low-Impact Exercises For Health & Wellness.

Quit Smoking

Smoking and secondhand smoke increases your odds of cancer, so do yourself a favour and butt out.

Learn more in: Alcohol: Keys To Overcoming Dependency And Abuse.

Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

The higher your BMI (body mass index), the greater your risk of cancer or other diseases. It's essential to maintain a healthy body weight, so it puts less stress on your body.

Learn more in: 6 Healthy Ways To Lose Weight & Keep It Off.

Be Sun Smart

Realise that sunshine is a vital source of life on earth and Vitamin D, which is a key nutrient for human health and for healing a host of Cancers e.g. breast, colon and prostate.

The key is to respect the sun, not to avoid it.  Expose 80% of your body for a small amount of time to sunlight early in the day when the suns rays are at their least intense. Use non-chemical based products on your skin before and after sun exposure to feed and nourish your skin like organic, cold-pressed coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.

If you're going to be in the sun for longer periods in the heat of the day, be sure to use a chemical-free sunscreen like Sun Loves Me

Learn more in: What Causes Skin Cancer? Natural Alternatives To Chemical Sunscreens.

The Takeaway

When it comes to achieving your best health and avoiding cancer, it really comes down to embracing a self care lifestyle.

This means adding more whole plant foods to your diet, moving your body often, drinking plenty of water, getting out into the sun often in small doses and avoiding chemicals and processed foods.

These simple daily habits will dramatically reduce your risk of developing cancer, keep your weight in check and help you to look and feel your best.

Remember, Food is medicine and let medicine be thy food.

Learn more in: Why Should You Consider Food As Medicine?

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