When it comes to preventing and fighting cancer, anti-inflammatory foods are important. Adding nourishing foods full of healthy antioxidants is one of the easiest things you can do for yourself, if not the best. An anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits and vegetables is key to keeping your body strong.
Here are ten cancer fighting foods that have shown to have true benefits when it comes to building your immune system. Choose organic whenever possible.
1. Apples – We are in the middle of apple season right now, and the varieties of apples available are fantastic. Studies show that apple skins inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
2. Asian mushrooms – Shiitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms boost the immune system. In a scientific review, researchers found that the metabolites contained within mushroom cell walls appeared to stimulate different cells of the immune system, including T and B cells, macrophages, and natural killer cells.
3. Beans – The bioactive compounds found in legumes – namely phytochemicals, saponins, and tannins – have been shown to inhibit some types of cancer cell growth, such as stomach, colorectal, and kidney cancers. Emerging research confirms their potency and indicates that regular consumption of legumes can help avoid several forms of the deadly disease.
4. Blueberries – This beloved berry packs a powerful punch of antioxidants. At the University of Illinois, researchers showed that quercetin, a flavonoid found in blueberries, inhibited an enzyme that acts to promote cancer. It also plays a role as a cardio-protective component and is reported to have potential preventive effects against certain types of tumors. Wild blueberries also contain specialized flavonoids known as proanthyocyanadins (or condensed tannins) that inhibit the promotion stage of chemically induced cancer. Wild North American blueberries were more potent than cultivated and European blueberries.
5. Oats, rye and barley – The phytonutrient lignan found in these whole grains has anti-tumor and antiviral effects.
6. Carrots – Carrots are very high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, also known as pro-vitamin A. Studies have shown that as we consume more of these antioxidants, they help to eliminate free radicals, which damage our cells and ultimately affect our health. Keep the skins on for extra absorption of protective antioxidants.
7. Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables contain sulforphane, which assists the liver in a two-part process of breaking down and eliminating carcinogens.
8. Flaxseeds – Research shows that when ground and eaten daily, flax slows tumor growth in breast cancer patients. The seeds are also active disease fighters.
9. Garlic – Garlic has sulphur-containing compounds, which are largely responsible for its health benefits. Other antioxidants in garlic such as flavonoids and small amounts of selenium add its cancer-fighting capabilities.
10. Ginger – Known as an aid for nausea, ginger is also helpful in fighting cancer. Ginger contains the active ingredient -gingerol, which has proven to be effective in slowing the growth of human colorectal cancer cells.
Photo from here, with thanks.