13 Magic Foods with Cancer-Fightin' Superpowers
PInktober is all about the chestal region - but remember, we are what we eat! What we put into our bellies affects the rest of our bodies, so we wanted to post a list of the top foods to eat to prevent (or benefit those with) breast cancer.
“Overweight women who exercise 150 minutes a week and eat lots of fruits and veggies have a lower risk of breast cancer than normal-weight women who are sedentary and have a low intake of fruits and veggies,” says nutritionist Mary Marian, MS, RD, CSO, a research specialist and lecturer at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson.
Below, Tina Sapra, senior clinical nutritionist & coordinator with Fortis Memorial Research Institute and Dr Vandana Mathur, consulting nutritionist, Metropolis Healthcare, Mumbai, share with The Times of India the top-hitters from their research.
You can get flax either as whole seed, ground or flaxseed oil. The omega-3s, lignans and fibre found in flaxseed are found to form a protective shield against cancer cells responsible for causing breast cancer. Include flax to yogurt or a smoothie to create a richer and nutty flavour. You can add flaxseed oil to salad dressings too or integrate them into baked goods, such as cookies or muffins.
Uniquely rich in selenium, fibre, and phytochemicals, Brazil nuts can help fight inflammation, improve the immune system and prevent tumour growth. And you do not need many of them—a palmful can do the trick. Enjoy them as any other nut either with fruits or asparagus (contains the anti-cancer component, chlorophyll).
Rich source of cancer-fighting compound called allium, garlic and its relatives (onion, leeks, scallions, and chives) are shown to slow tumour growth and prevent breast cancer risk among other forms of cancer such as colorectal and prostate cancers. Garlic and onions are found in a variety of foods including Italian, Spanish, Indian, Thai and Chinese dishes. Crush or swallow a piece of garlic every morning and that's all it takes to live a cancer-free life!
This is highly recommended for preventing breast cancer. It contains polyphenol- an ellagic acid with anti-oxidant properties that prevent cancer growth. Include this delicious fruit in your diet and discover effective health benefits.
Dark-green leafy vegetables
From kale, collards to spinach and Swiss chard, dark-green leafy vegetables probably are considered a "one stop shop" for all the best nutrients your body needs to fend off cancerous cells, i.e. fibre, vitamin B, phytochemicals, chlorophyll and more. It's time to add some greens to your diet.
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
As a cruciferous (belonging to the plant family Cruciferae) vegetable along with cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale; broccoli is rich in sulforophane and indoles, which are shown to regulate cell growth in multiple ways and help fight a range of cancers, including breast, bladder, lymphoma, prostate and lung cancer.
A great source of omega-3s and vitamins B12 and D, salmon can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to regulate cell growth and prevent cancer. In fact, certain types of Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) are proven effective in cancer treatment. Steam it, bake it, grill it or saute it. This fish is a great option and pairs well with many foods like garlic, dark-green leafy vegetables, turmeric, peppers and broccoli.
Consumption on a regular basis has been linked to lower incidence of breast cancer. The phyto-chemicals in green tea can well take the credit for its health benefits. One to two cups of green tea daily can help you keep cancer at bay.
Pick a pepper, any pepper! Most have some phytochemical or nutrient that will help fight cancer. Chilli and jalapeno peppers have capsaicin (an active component of chilli peppers) that fight the growth rate of cancer cells. Green peppers are rich in chlorophyll which can bind cancer-causing carcinogens found in the gut. Red peppers have both capsaicin and antioxidant carotenoids. Put them in a vegetable stir-fry or eat them with hummus.
A spice commonly found in Indian cuisine, the cancer-fighting compound called curcumin can inhibit many types of cancer cells, including breast, gastrointestinal, lung, and skin cancer. A pinch of turmeric fights toughest of cancer-causing cells.
Abundant in omega-3-fatty acids, natural phytosterols and antioxidants, walnuts make for an ideal anti-breast cancer food.
All berries are rich sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals which play a role in reducing oxidation and cancer cell formation in the body. Add some blueberries to your morning cereal, put a few raspberries in plain yogurt for a snack, or enjoy strawberries with a piece of dark chocolate for an evening snack.
Rich in fiber, essential vitamins and minerals; choose whole grains such as quinoa, barley, oats, amaranth, brown rice, and whole wheat over their refined, white counterparts. Heat them in the morning with some milk and cinnamon and have it as a warm cereal, or make a side dish out of it by boiling and simmering it for half an hour for dinner.
Make Your Whole Body Happy - and start inserting at least one of these ingredients into each meal every day!
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