NORTH COUNTY – Few, if any, families can say they have never had an experience with cancer. Cancer is a potentially deadly disease with no cure. While cancer can be treated effectively, there is no way for men and women to eliminate their risk of developing cancer.
Though cancer may strike even the healthiest of persons, there are ways men, women and even children can reduce their risk. One such way is to consume certain foods that researchers feel can reduce cancer risk. Though precisely how these foods fight cancer remains a mystery, cancer researchers feel they can effectively lower an individual’s cancer risk when combined to form a healthy diet.
Beans boast numerous healthy attributes, and their potential to reduce cancer risk is one such attribute. Beans contain many phytochemicals that researchers feel protect the cells from the type of damage that can ultimately make a person susceptible to cancer. Beans also have been shown to decelerate tumor growth and prevent tumors from releasing potentially harmful substances that can damage nearby cells.
Colorful fruits and vegetables
It may seem odd that a food’s color can have an impact on cancer risk, but colorful fruits and vegetables contain more cancer-fighting nutrients than fruits and vegetables that aren’t as flashy. Consuming such fruits and vegetables also helps men and women maintain a healthy body weight, an important benefit when considering overweight and obesity increases a person’s risk for multiple cancers.
Foods with folate
Folate is a B vitamin that can reduce a person’s risk of developing several cancers, including those of the colon, rectum and breast. Those who are fond of a healthy breakfast to begin their day may already be getting healthy doses of folate, which can be found in eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, orange juice, and strawberries, among other foods. If toast is your breakfast of choice, opt for whole wheat toast, as whole wheat products are a good source of folate.
Studies have shown that resveratrol, a key ingredient in grapes, may prevent the type of damage that triggers the production of cancerous cells. Though scientists are not yet comfortable saying grapes, or beverages like grape juice and wine, can reduce cancer risk, they believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of grapes make them a healthy option.
Tomatoes are widely beloved, and perhaps that love affair stems from the tomato’s role in fighting cancer. Though the reasons are unknown, tomatoes have been linked to lowering men’s risk for prostate cancer. One such study, a 1995 study from researchers at the Harvard Medical School, found that men who ate 10 or more servings of tomatoes per week reduced their risk of developing aggressive prostate tumors by nearly 50 percent. Later research from the author of the 1995 study found that processed tomatoes, such as those found in tomato paste and tomato sauce, were even more effective at reducing cancer risk than fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes have also been linked to lowering a person’s risk for lung and stomach cancers.
Water may not qualify as a food, but it may protect people from bladder cancer. Potential cancer-causing agents in the bladder are diluted when drinking water. In addition, the more water you drink the more frequently you’re likely to urinate, which means cancer-causing agents have less time to come into contact with the lining of your bladder.
Many foods can help individuals in the fight against cancer. Though one food alone may not be potent enough to do the job, when several cancer-fighting foods are included in a person’s diet, the effects may be significant.