Some foods can cause cancer while others are used to prevent the disease.
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue. In today’s lifestyle, protecting yourself from cancer has become so important, as research shows that as many as one-third of all cancer deaths are linked to diet and physical activity (lifestyle). While food supports your body and strengthen your immune system, others may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases in your body.
Foods that help fight cancer
Carrots are loaded with beta carotene and falcarinol, which help in fighting cancer. However, few studies suggest that beta carotene can cause cancer. Consuming cancer can help fight cancers related to bladder, prostate, breast, and intestine.
Cabbage has medicinal properties which include the compound Indole-3-carbinol. This compound helps fight oestrogen which is responsible for breast cancer. The Indole-3-carbinol present in cabbage converts harmful effects of oestrogen into a useful compound.
Drink plenty of water. It is essential for fighting cancer. It stimulates the immune system, removes waste and toxins, and transports nutrients to all of your organs.
Cauliflower comes from the cruciferous vegetable family, just like cabbage. Cauliflower is a cancer fighting food which helps absorb important nutrients. Many studies have shown that cauliflower is linked to fighting various types of cancers like bladder cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Other than this, cauliflower is also responsible for helping the body to detox and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Mushroom is known to hamper the side effects of chemo therapy and radiation, such as nausea. Mushrooms are loaded with vitamin B and iron. They are known to fight diabetes, prevent tumours, and fight allergies as well.
Broccoli, like cabbage and cauliflower, is loaded with sulforaphane. This is a compound which is responsible for preventing the development of tumours. Consuming broccoli sprouts is beneficial.
Sweet potatoes contain polyphenol antioxidants like caffeic acid and di and tri caffeoylquinic acids. These antioxidants help in fighting cancers related to lung, gall bladder, kidney, liver, and breasts.
Grapefruit is enriched with flavonoids, which slows down the production of cancer cells. Grapefruit is known to fight diabetes and promotes detox. Grapefruit has properties which suppress the production of cancer cells in colon cancer. Grapefruit should not be consumed with medication as it has side effects.
Grapes contain chemical proanthocyanidins which help fight colon, prostate and breast cancer.
Tomatoes contain antioxidants like lycopene, which helps fight cancer. Tomatoes are also loaded with vitamins A, C and E. The presence of vitamin C prevents cell damage that leads to cancer.
The berry family which includes strawberries and raspberries contain antioxidants which help fight cancer cells. Ellagic acid present in them is responsible for preventing skin cancer, bladder, lung cancer and oesophagus cancer.
Another fruit which is rich in beta carotene and lycopene, papayas are effective in fighting free radicals. Since the cells get damaged in cancer, isothiocyanates present in papaya protects the cells from cancer.
Oranges & lime
The citric family is not far behind in preventing cancer. They contain limonene, which boosts immunity and produces cancer killing immune cells.
Flaxseeds are helpful in preventing the growth and spread of cancer cells. Study shows that flaxseeds are also useful in curing prostate and breast cancer.
Garlic contains sulphur compounds that fuel our immune system. This helps our natural defence against cancer. Consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of stomach cancer, colon cancer, oesophagus cancer, pancreas cancer and breast cancer.
Curcumin is a popular antioxidant found in turmeric. Laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy.
Antioxidants are useful as they help prevent the cells from damage. Cancer leads to weak immunity of our cells. Since green tea contains polyphenols and has antioxidant properties, it is useful in preventing cancer.
Soy products helps lower the risk of prostate and breast cancer. Soy products also help in fighting cholesterol and blood pressure.
Lycopene is present in watermelon as well. This is a powerful antioxidant which is helpful in fighting cancer.
Foods that may Cause Cancer
Genetically Modified Foods
The selection of genetically modified foods – both fresh and processed – is gradually increasing. Such foods last longer and are more resistant to deterioration and in some cases, they may even taste better. But they also pose a risk for health, especially on the long-term. In fact, many scientists argue that there isn’t sufficient research to conclude what effects GMOs have on our health. To reduce your risk of cancer, try consuming foods that are free of GMOs.
First on the list of cancer-causing foods is canned food. This is a staple product that can be readily found in many homes. In this case, convenience comes with a price to pay: often, canned goods are full of preservatives and added substances that may increase your chance of developing cancer. One of such substances is BPA, which has been proven to modify brain cells genetically. To cut down on your consumption of canned foods, look for alternatives such as frozen foods (vegetables and fruits) and make an effort to consume more fresh products.
Consuming excessive amounts of red meat has been scientifically proven to increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Particularly, grilled red meat has the highest potential of causing cancer to develop. Highly processed red meats, such as the type used for hot dogs, are especially pernicious. Instead of grilling red meat, try broiling or baking it, as this doesn’t impact its molecular structure as much. Other types of meat, such as fish and chicken, are less likely to increase your risk of suffering from cancer.
Besides making our food sweeter and more palatable, refined sugars are also the main culprit of many cancer-causing diets. By and large, the riskiest food you can consume is high-fructose corn syrup, which is the main ingredient of a plethora of foods. Children are especially prone to consuming foods that are rich in refined sugars. Limit sugar consumption to reduce your risk of developing cancer dramatically
Another potentially cancer-causing food is salty food. This includes a wide variety of foods, encompassing salted, pickled, and even smoked food items. Such foods are likely to contain high levels of preservatives and other artificial substances, with the aim of increasing shelf life. What it won’t do, however, is prolong life expectancy, because such certain preservatives have been shown to increase cancer risk. When these additives accumulate in the body, cells become damaged which may eventually lead to certain types of cancers to develop.
Drinks containing excessive levels of fructose corn syrup and other additives have been considered for long as a cancer-causing food. High-fructose corn syrups are the main culprit in such drinks, and other components such as dyes and preservatives are also risky. Besides being void of any nutritional value, they are likely to leave you feeling drowsy and saturated. Many companies have tried to make sugary drinks more appetizing for the average population, but be warned, such drinks may also contain the same chemicals as the original varieties. Try substituting sugary drinks with natural alternatives like freshly-squeezed juice or water.
White bread – or other food products that generally contain white flour can potentially increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers. Because white flour can be found in all kinds of products ranging from pasta to baked goods, it can be especially difficult to cut down on this food type. However, there are plenty of healthier alternatives, including whole-grain products. White flour can be pernicious for the body’s health because the bleaching process adds unwanted chemicals into the product, including chlorine gas. Moreover, white flour can cause insulin spikes, which lead to insulin resistance.
Traditionally, people fished the traditional way: with a lure and at most, a small fishing net. However, as society evolved, so did its demand for fish products. To adapt for a large market, new ways of commercially farming for fish have appeared. They involve large quantities of fish in a small space, where viral and bacterial infections are common. To control these factors, producers add a mix of chemicals to reduce the negative effects that come with commercial fish farming. These chemicals may be linked to certain types of cancers and other diseases.
Scientific evidence has, for a long time, shown a consistent relationship between excessive alcohol consumption and certain types of cancers, including those of the neck, liver, and breast. Although there are more than a hundred types of cancers, some are more likely to be related to alcohol consumption. Cutting back on the amount of alcohol you consume can significantly help reduce your cancer risk.
Last on the list is microwave popcorn. What makes this food so unhealthy is the sheer amount of additives that come with it. Whether it is colorants or artificial butter, microwave popcorn comes loaded with potentially cancerous ingredients. During the actual microwaving process, fumes are released which may contain a compound known as diacetyl, which is associated with some forms of cancer.