There is no one food that will make you resistant towards cancer, as the link between cancer and diet is just as mysterious as the disease itself. However, a lot of research has shown that certain foods and nutrients may help strengthen your body and prevent certain types of cancer. To compile a list of preventative foods you can add and eliminate from your diet to lower your risk, we spoke with doctor and radiologist Jim Gray MD to lay it out for us.
There are several intrinsic factors that you cannot change, which include things like genetics and environment; however, estimates suggest that only 30% of a person’s lifetime risk of getting cancer results from uncontrollable factors. The rest you have control over, and we are here to outline some of the best, and delicious, ways to take action. Jim Gray MD suggests using your common sense when it comes to changing your diet, including increasing the number of vegetables and lowering the number of processed foods in your diet, which will make a vast improvement on your overall health.
Onions and garlic are both very rich in glutathione, which naturally detoxes the body. The National Cancer Institute reported that data from seven population studies shows that the higher the amount of raw and cooked garlic consumed, the lower the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer. Jim Gray MD also explained that garlic contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. The study went on to explain that garlic has the ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair, or induce cell death.
Cruciferous vegetables are known to be powerful cancer killers and some of the best vitamin C foods available. Many are rich in glutathione, which has high re-radical scavenging abilities. Nearly all members of the brassica family of cruciferous vegetables are nutrient-dense sources of a family of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that are linked to cancer prevention. Some examples of cruciferous vegetables to start incorporating into your diet are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts.
The gut has recently been touted as the second brain, and good gut function is integral to any healthy diet — without it, the gut’s key nutrients may be lost. In 2017, Science Magazine reported about a study done between cancer patients that showed that our gut microbiome ‘helps determine whether tumors shrink when treated with immunotherapy drugs.’ Jim Gray MD suggests adding fermented and probiotic foods to your diet, including kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir.
Turmeric is a spice that is well-known for its health-promoting properties. Its active ingredient is called curcumin, and is a chemical with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and even anticancer effects. Curcumin has also been shown to be effective in slowing the growth of lung, breast and prostate cancer cells in other test-tube studies.
In addition to all of the colorful additions to your diet mentioned above, Jim Gray MD also suggests removing certain substances and foods from your diet. Some of these include cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, processed food and trans fats. All of the above-mentioned substances and foods have been linked to the development and acceleration of cancer, so best to avoid them at all costs.