Studies have shown that some natural measures can help to prevent and even alleviate cancer. Chief among these is a diet that includes certain food items, while omitting others. Free radicals lead to degenerative diseases like cancer, and can be neutralized by antioxidants like beta carotene, folic acid and lutein. Antioxidants are abundant in brightly colored fruits and vegetables like carrots and broccoli. The darker the greens, the richer they are in antioxidants.
Antioxidants and Minerals that prevent Cancer
Antioxidant vitamins can remove carcinogens and even repair damaged cells. Foods rich in vitamins A and C fight cancer. The beta carotene in carrots is an antioxidant which boosts immunity and prevents cancer. Carrot juice contains vitamin A, prevents infections and is also an alkalizer. Other sources of vitamin A include butter, tomatoes, pumpkin, papaya and mango. Citrus fruits are rich sources of vitamin C. Tomato and watermelon also contain anti-cancer lycopene.
Curd/yoghurt, like milk, is a source of vitamin D and calcium, which have anti-cancer properties. Calcium, especially effective in preventing colon cancer, is also present in almond, fig, and walnuts; vegetables like cabbage, lettuce and carrot; and fruits like lemons and oranges. Vitamin D prevents changes in cells that cause cancer, and is found in items like dairy products, oily fish, and eggs.
Indoles in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts prevent cancer. Dr. Anne Wigmore of Boston has popularized the therapeutic use of wheatgrass juice; she claims that the chlorophyll content with live nutrients, vitamins, minerals and trace elements alleviates leukemia. Beet juice is an anti-cancer agent, as it stimulates the liver and detoxifies the body.
Fruits and Other Foods that prevent Cancer
Citrus fruits like the lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit contain anti-cancer compounds like glutathione. Whole oranges contain more of it than the juice. Grapes have antioxidant bioflavonoids that prevent cancer. Moreover, cancer patients usually lack potash salts, which are found in grapes.
Wholegrain cereals, wheat bran, brown rice and some green leafy vegetables are examples of fiber rich foods that minimize chances of breast and colon cancers. “Good” fats like omega 3 and omega 9 help to control a type of oestrogen, an excess of which leads to breast cancer. Oily fish and olive oil are sources of good fats.
Beans, pulses and lentils have antioxidant polyphenols, lignans and fiber which inhibit tumors. Beans like soya beans contain phytoestrogens that block cancer causing oestrogen. Garlic and onions have anti-cancer compounds, while those in liquorice prevent and even check the growth of cancer. Mushrooms build immunity and prevent cancers. Green tea has anti-oxidants that prevent cancer cells from multiplying. Finally, spices like turmeric are anti-cancer.
Though it is essential to include food items that block cancer-causing chemicals, it is equally important to avoid some items. These include red meat, (especially over fried) excess alcohol and food containing trans fats or “bad” saturated fats. White or processed food and sugary food lead to weight gain and promote cell growth, both of which could lead to breast cancer. The diet can play a major role in preventing cancer, so it is recommended that two fruits and three vegetables be consumed daily, as they are sources of antioxidants and fiber. Other items like cereals and pulses, some herbs and spices should also be included to guard against cancer.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only; it should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his/her health should contact a licensed medical professional.