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Can Some Foods Prevent Cancer?

  • Cruciferous vegetables- these include cauliflower, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that prevent the onset and can halt the progression of cancer such as prostrate, breast, colon, cervical, thyroid and others since they contain health promoting phytonutrients. Also healthy estrogen metabolism is promoted in the body by these natural compounds. These are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which have healthy effect on the body. However, to have cancer preventive effects scientists have found other bioactive compounds.  These are glucosinolates. In the body they are transformed into indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane.
  • Lycopene- free radicals float around the body and disrupt cells and promote diseases. These molecules are damaging. Lycopenes are radical fighting antioxidants. Free radicals are destroyed by these antioxidants so that to your cells they do not attach and on the heard working immune system they do not wreak havoc. They can help prevent lung, stomach and prostate cancer. According to some evidences, some cancers of colon, rectum, pancreas, oesophagus, breast, oral cavity and cervix cancer can also be prevented by lycopene.
  • Soybean- for those who want to cut back or eliminate meat soy based foods are healthy alternative. They contain potassium, fibre, magnesium and vitamins. They contain essential amino acids which the body needs for its functions. It is a rich source of protein. Soy based foods are thought to prevent and treat prostate cancer.
  • Vitamin C- it helps destroy free radicals that are damaging molecules. It contains antioxidants. In the watery areas such as blood and inside the cells it provides protection. For cancers of mouth, larynx, esophagus, colon, stomach, breast, pancreas it can reduce the risk.  Broccoli, cabbage, grapefruit, cauliflower, guava, orange and lemon are some sources of vitamin C.
  • Dietary fibre- it is found only in the cell walls of the plant and it is cancer fighting. Studies have suggested that the risk of colorectal cancer is reduced by increased intake of dietary fibres.  The possible reason could be because they add bulk to the digestive system thus the time takes for the wastes to travel through the colon is reduced. This wastes can be carcinogens hence as early as possible they should be eliminated.
  • Carotenoids- these are pigment that gives colours to fruits, vegetables and flowers. They have strong cancer fighting properties since they are antioxidants.  They destroy the free radicals. For smokers the risk of lung cancer can be reduced by these antioxidants. Also according to studies they may also prevent prostrate, breast and skin cancer. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids. It is better that carotenoids should be consumed from food rather than from supplements.
  • Polyphenols- there have been links between polyphenols with lower risk of cancer such as ovarian, breast, esophageal, skin and prostate cancer. Also research has shown that relapse rate is lower in breast cancer survivors eating foods rich in polyphenols. These include soy, green tea, vegetables and fruits.
  • Allium compounds- against several diseases, allium compounds have been found to be beneficial. Sources are garlic, chives, onions and leeks. There have been reports of these sources linked with reduced risk of colorectal and stomach cancer. Probably the carcinogenesis in the fore stomach, colon, esophagus, lung and mammary gland is due to the allyl derivatives and organosulfur compounds.
  • Folate- According to some evidences foods that contain folate may prevent esophageal, pancreatic and colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that people taking higher amount of folate are not at an increased risk of cancer. They may have decreased risk of skin cancer. Folate should be included in the diet. The sources are papaya, nuts, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, peas and chicory. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre.
  • Sprinkle some scallions- Scallions are close relative of leeks, garlic, onions, chives and shallots. The health promoting compounds are almost the same in both. They have a thin white bulb with long green stem. They reduce the growth of certain types of cancer since they contain certain compounds. The growth of tumours in mice was found to be suppressed when it was fed with scallions. Also the survival rate increased and inflammation reduced. Also according to another studies the risk of prostate cancer was reduced by 30 percent when the intake of scallions was higher. A compound present in scallion, allicin is well known for its cancer fighting properties.