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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 September 18, 2020

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

            Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

            Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

            1. Exercise Daily

            It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

            If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

            Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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            If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

            2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

            Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

            One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

            This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

            3. Acknowledge Your Limits

            Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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            Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

            Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

            4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

            Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

            The basic nutritional advice includes:

            • Eat unprocessed foods
            • Eat more veggies
            • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
            • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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            Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

              5. Watch Out for Travel

              Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

              This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

              If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

              6. Start Slow

              Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

              If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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              7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

              Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

              My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

              If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

              I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

              Final Thoughts

              Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

              Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

              More Tips on Getting in Shape

              Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

              Reference

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