The best defense against cancer is a strong offense, and that means tending to the health of our bodies before the disease can take hold. Cancer prevention begins by making serious dietary and lifestyle choices. Choices that will provide our bodies with the energy and nutrients they need to protect themselves from damage and disease. The continued rise of various types of cancers in the western world can be directly connected to diet. As a whole, we rely too heavily on highly processed foods. We eat too much meat, we drink too many sugary soft drinks, and we seem culturally opposed to fresh vegetables. More to the point, we simply eat too much. If cancer prevention begins with diet, than it is important to know what foods we should add to our diets to reduce our risks for a number of different types of cancers.
The following half dozen foods have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of cancer in otherwise healthy adults. These are common foods, available to all, so there is no reason they should not become an integral part of your diet.
Flax seeds have been shown to contain a number of cancer fighting compounds, including phytoestrogens, fiber, and antioxidants. When taken as part of a healthy diet they have been shown to reduce the risk of many common cancers. Now, when we speak of flax seeds the emphasis is on organically grown, unprocessed seeds. Remember, the more highly processed the food is, the less cancer fighting nutrients remain.
The list of healthy seeds includes:
Fresh, organically grown, tomatoes are rich in lycopene. Lycopene has been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Raw tomatoes are highly beneficial. Raw tomatoes should be added to the diet to protect against a variety of diseases, including cancer.
Fresh garlic contains diallyl disulfide, a chemical that inhibits the growth of tumors. It has been shown to be particularly effective in the prevention of colon cancer, skin cancer, and lung cancer. Again, garlic should be certified organic, and should be eaten raw as cooking reduces garlic’s inherent cancer fighting attributes.
Avocados are one of the best cancer fighting foods, high in numerous nutrients, including phytochemicals like lutein as well as vitamins like vitamin E, carotenoids, minerals, anti-oxidants, glutathione precursors and the health promoting monounsaturated fat, oleic acid.Phytochemicals plant bound chemicals that naturally protect plants from getting cancer. So when plants like avocados that are very high in phytochemicals are eaten they prevent cancer formation and growth.
Avocados are a very anti-inflammatory food and cancer like most other diseases are caused by inflammation. Avocados have a unique characteristic that makes it clearly one of God’s foods. When avocados are consumed they cause and anti-inflammatory response in healthy cells but in cancer cells they do the opposite. They increase inflammation and cause the cancer cells to go into apoptosis which means it causes them to automatically die. Avocados help the healthy cells stay healthy and cause the unhealthy cells to die.
Beans are rich in fiber and protein, as well as the B vitamin folate. Beans and legumes are also rich in antioxidants which have been proven to protect healthy cells from damage. Adding legumes to the diet greatly reduces the risk for a number of cancers, but most especially prostate cancer, and cancers of the digestive system.
Cancer fighting legumes include:
- Mung beans
- Adzuki beans
Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting phytochemicals, and are the most powerful foods in the fight against cancer and disease. The latest research advises that adults should add several servings per week of cruciferous vegetables to their diet as a way to promote and maintain their total health. People with diets high in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to have a greatly reduced risk for prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer and lung cancer.
There are many members of the cruciferous food family, including:
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
Cancer prevention begins with good nutrition, and good nutrition begins with transitioning to a predominantly vegetarian diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables. The food God created for us to eat in the Garden offers everything we need to keep our bodies and minds operating at top efficiency, all we have to do is understand that what was best for us in the beginning is still best for us today.