Cancer. If you haven’t had it, you likely know someone who has. But these cancer-fighting foods can help.
Cancer is a disease of abnormal cells growing in a part of the body. When the abnormal cells divide, they form a tumor or malignant growth. This tumor starts in one area and spreads by.
What causes cancer? Cancer is caused by an impaired immune system and prevents the body from functioning properly. There are many factors that can contribute to cancer. Genetics can have a role as well as lifestyle. Some of the lifestyle factors include poor diet and nutritional deficiencies. Proper nutrition choices can help prevent and treat cancer.
Foods to Avoid: the not-so-fab five.
- Processed foods (meats are a known carcinogen: hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausage, deli meats)
- Processed oils (vegetable oil, canola, margarine)
- Fried foods
- High sugar and processed sugars
- Foods high in additives and chemicals
Foods to love: These foods help combat cancer!
Eat your greens! Leafy greens are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. They are also low in fat, calories, sodium, and toxins. Some leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, arugula, and watercress. Some ways to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet are through juices, green smoothies, sautéing, steaming, and eating salads.
These vegetables are high in vitamin C, which make them a powerhouse in supporting the immune system. They are rich in glutathione which is great for beating free radicals—unstable atoms that are harmful to cells in the body. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, and Brussels sprouts. They are great in soups, stir-fries, salads, roasted, and for snacks.
Berries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C which help increase immunity. Some berries to incorporate in your diet include blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, goji berries, and blackberries.
Orange-Colored Fruits & Veggies
These include citrus fruits, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Brightly colored produce is high in phytochemicals, more specifically carotenoid antioxidants. Carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and kryptoxanthin all lead to high levels of vitamin A. These fruits and vegetables are great for the immune system. You can add them to smoothies, sauté them, eat them raw, and use them in salads, juices, and soups.
Herbs & Spices
Let’s talk about some of the best spices for your health. Let’s start with turmeric. Turmeric has inflammation-fighting properties which means it helps decrease the size of tumors and helps fight colon and breast cancer. Turmeric and black pepper are great to use together. Ginger and garlic are great for boosting immunity. Parsley is also used for immunity and detoxing. You can use these herbs and spices fresh in juices, salads, smoothies, dressings, soups, and sauté dishes.
Nuts & Seeds
Time to go nuts for nuts! And seeds! Chia and flax seeds are a great source of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and protein. Hemp seeds provide protein and omegas. Sesame seeds are high in calcium. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Walnuts are good for brain health, reduce cancer risk, and decrease inflammation. Brazil nuts are high in selenium and are good for immune function. Almonds contain magnesium and vitamin E. These nuts and seeds can be used in smoothies, granola, snacks, baked goods
Healthy fats include coconut oil, flax oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. These are good for brain and nervous system function. They reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and nourish the gut.
Some types include reishi, cordyceps, maitake, lion’s mane, and shitake. Mushrooms are great for boosting the immune system. They fight tumor growth and improve cell regeneration. Use mushrooms whole in soups, stir-fries, powders in elixirs, smoothies, teas, coffee, and chocolate.
Nutrition matters. Whether dealing with cancer or not. Eat well!