Many individuals strive for prolonged, healthy and joyous lives, prioritizing the prevention of cancer as a crucial aspect. During National Cancer Month in February, staying informed about the latest insights on avoiding this life-threatening disease is essential.

Cancer impacts millions of individuals and families globally, particularly in underprivileged nations and communities lacking resources for treatment.

In 2024, 2,001,140 new cancer cases and 611,720 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society Journals. 

HOW SMALL CHANGES IN YOUR DIET CAN RESULT IN REALLY BIG HEALTH PAYOFFS

Lung, colorectal and pancreas cancers cause the most deaths. 

“More than 125,000 Americans will die of lung cancer in 2024 − nearly 2.5 times as many deaths as are projected from colon cancer,” reports the American Cancer Society. 

The second most deadly diagnosis was colorectal cancer, expected to cause about 53,010 deaths during 2024.

Prostate cancer was the leading diagnosis for men – while breast cancer was the most common form of cancer for women.

In an April 2022 interview with Fox News Digital, California-based nutritionist and health expert Susan Smith Jones, PhD, shared a few pointers about the foods we should add to our diets for the highest chance of dodging cancer. 

Here are a few cancer-preventing food options. 

Pomegranates are recognized for their potential in preventing and treating various diseases, including cancer, says the National Institute of Health. 

The pomegranate has been used for the prevention and treatment of a multitude of diseases and ailments for centuries in ancient cultures, according to the National Library of Medicine. 

They are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and hydrolysable tannins, which contribute to their cancer-fighting properties.

“Studies have shown that the pomegranate fruit as well as its juice, extract, and oil exert anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-tumorigenic properties by modulating multiple signaling pathways, which suggest its use as a promising chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent,” says the National Library of Medicine. 

10 CANCER-FIGHTING FOODS

While ongoing studies aim to delve deeper into these health benefits, incorporating pomegranates into a balanced diet is encouraged for their potential positive impact on overall well-being.

Sprouts are among the healthiest raw foods any of us can consume. 

At the same time, different sprouts, such as alfalfa and radish sprouts, provide excellent nutrition, and broccoli sprouts reign supreme in terms of preventing and treating cancer.

A cup and a half of broccoli sprouts per day can reduce the chances of cancer by 50%, advises Jones.

While growing a significant amount of sprouts takes a matter of mere days, growing an actual head of broccoli with less nutritional value takes about 77 days.

THE BEST VEGETABLES FOR YOUR HEALTH, ACCORDING TO NUTRITIONISTS 

“There’s hardly a better food on earth than freshly harvested sprouts that cost pennies a batch and take two minutes a day to grow,” Jones said.

All types of greens, such as spinach, kale, romaine, broccoli, turnips and collard greens, offer a bit of extra protection against cancer. 

Consuming more green also replaces sugar and other unhealthy items in a diet, and leads to beneficial results beyond cancer, including a lower risk of developing heart disease or obesity.

In lab experiments, substances released during either cutting or chewing cruciferous vegetables produced a cancer-killing effect. 

Swallowing them whole won’t do, by the way. 

The protective effect of cruciferous vegetables seems to occur when they are cut or chewed. They’re great stir-fried, as side dishes or tossed into salads raw. Experiment with flavors like lemon or garlic.

FOODS TO EAT, AND NOT EAT, TO PREVENT CANCER, ACCORDING TO A DOCTOR AND NUTRITIONIST

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and prevent some types of cancer,” according to Harvard School of Public Health. 

There’s no better fruit for men to eat than tomatoes in terms of preventing prostate cancer. 

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of the deadly disease, especially for millions of older men in the United States. A healthy diet that encompasses tomatoes may help individuals reduce the risk of developing the diagnosis later in life. 

Cherry tomatoes are an even better option, since much of the nutritional value is found in the skin.  

The nutrition lies in the tomato’s lycopene, which gives the fruit its red shade. For some individuals, fitting tomatoes into a daily diet can be difficult, but a variety of salads and soups makes it possible. 

IS GREEN TEA A CANCER FIGHTER?

You can also eat the plant by itself after slicing and adding some light seasoning, and baking it in the oven. 

Try changing out your morning cup of coffee for green tea for extra health benefits.

Savor tea throughout the seasons: Warm up with hot tea in winter and stay refreshed with iced tea in summer, ensuring a year-round indulgence that contributes to cancer prevention. 

Green tea may not only help prevent cancer, but it also has antiviral and antibacterial properties, said Jones. 

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It’s also great for weight loss and immunity. Similar to many plant-based foods, tea contains flavonoids, known for their antioxidant effects. One flavonoid in particular, kaempferol, has shown protective effects against cancer. 

Almonds are a great source of protein, fiber and vitamin E. 

Try soaking almonds in a bowl of water overnight to plump them up, soften their chew and boost their bio-availability, advised Jones.

Throw some soaked almonds in a blender with four cups of water for homemade almond milk. 

Flax seeds provide a plethora of nutrients to help prevent cancer, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

A few tablespoons of flaxseed meals per day can also promote glowing skin and high energy, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and aid in digestion.

Phillip Nieto contributed reporting. 

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