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Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

For people who are interested in promoting their health, cancer can be a big worry. It is a leading cause of death in countries all over the world and the emotional, physical, and economic cost is high. And despite many important advances in recent decades, most cancer treatment still centers around some combination of surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy — and all of these treatments can carry risks.

However, the good news is that there are simple lifestyle choices that everyone can make that can reduce the cancer risk. One of these choices is a diet that contains the following anti-cancer foods.

Cruciferous Vegetables

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Crucifers are cancer-fighting foods

    Cruciferous vegetables are a family of nutritional powerhouses and include such foods as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. These are one of the best groups of cancer-fighting foods to eat if you are interested in following an anti-cancer diet.

    Why? They have sulfur-containing compounds called sulforaphanes that, in multiple laboratory studies, have been found to boost the body’s ability to fight off cancer as well as removing cancer-causing substances and specifically targeting cancer cells. Crucifers have been studied for several different types of cancer, including cancers of the liver, skin, stomach, and bladder.

    Berries

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    barries are cancer-fighting foods

      Berries are another group of foods with proven anti-cancer properties and are frankly one of the most delicious ways to enjoy an anti-cancer diet. Members of this illustrious group — including strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and acai berries — are some of the richest sources of antioxidant compounds like anthocyanins.

      Anthocyanins are the chemicals that give berries their color, but they are also well-known for their ability to fight cancer by reducing blood flow to malignant tumors and encouraging cancer cell death. They have been tested and found effective against cancers of the esophagus, colon, and skin.

      Alliums

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      alliums are cancer-fighting foods

        The allium family includes foods like onions, garlic, chives, and leeks and not only do they add great flavor to foods from all over the world, they also contain a compound called allicin, which also has strong anti-oxidant properties and in various clinical studies, allicin has been shown to fight cancer by preventing carcinogenic substances from harming the body and by preventing cancer cells from multiplying. Members of the allium family have been studied for their beneficial effects on cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and colon.

        Tomatoes

        tomatoes are cancer-fighting foods

          Tomatoes were brought to Europe from North America during colonization and are now found in a variety of New World and Old World cuisines. They are not only easy to add to a variety of dishes, but because of their high levels of an antioxidant compound called lycopene, they are also an important part of an anti-cancer diet. Lycopene is able to reduce oxidative stress in the cells throughout the body and prevent the cellular changes that can lead to cancer. It has shown to be beneficial with both prostate and endometrial cancer.

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          Leafy Green Vegetables

          leafy greens are cancer-fighting foods

            Be like Popeye and love your spinach — as well as kale, Swiss chard, and other leafy green vegetables. These leafy greens are incredibly versatile, working well in salads, soups, pasta dishes and casseroles, they also will provide you with anti-cancer benefits. This is because of their unique blend of antioxidant compounds like lutein, vitamins like folate and plenty of dietary fiber. Studies have shown that diets that are rich in lycopene are related to a reduced risk of mouth and throat cancers.

            Obviously, there is no silver bullet when it comes to cancer. But studies on the cancer-fighting foods listed above are part of an increasing body of evidence that the foods you choose to eat can help to lower your risks of developing this serious disease. Their combinations of fiber, vitamins and minerals and antioxidant compounds appears to have real benefits that can be harnessed easily every time you walk into the produce aisle.

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            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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