I truly believe that food is medicine. How we fuel our bodies can be a precursor to how our body responds to trauma, injury, general illness and chronic disease. And when it comes to cancer, this is no different.
Including cancer-fighting foods into your daily routine can be easy! And you don’t need to eat them all each day. Start by picking one or two to have regularly, then gradually include more as you start to shift your diet.
First and foremost, it is important to recognize the basis of this diet: eat whole foods! This means: focus on non- or minimally-processed ingredients, lots of plants, complex carbohydrates, and quality animal protein.
Here are 10 cancer-fighting foods to include in your diet:
We already know that berries are extremely high in antioxidants, which can play a big role in cancer prevention as they can help reduce free radical damage in the body.
2. Wild-caught salmon
Omega-3-rich fish, like wild-caught salmon, can increase something called the “tumour necrosis factor” and help to remove fat-soluble toxins from our body. Breast cancer can be particularly influenced by the effects of Omega-3.
3. Onions and garlic
Seen as an anti-cancer superfood, onions and garlic stimulate natural protection against tumour cell growth. Both are important foods for liver detoxification and to support our body’s ability to remove toxic buildup.
4. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous veggies include foods like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage. These are high in indole-3-carbinol, which can help support estrogen turnover. This makes carbinoles especially important in hormone-related cancers like breast and ovarian cancers.
5. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushroom has been shown to support our immune system (1). Having a strong immune system is the first step in fighting many diseases.
6. Flax seed
Flax contains phyto-estrogens, which have been indicated in reducing the risk of estrogen-related cancers.
Tomatoes, particularly cooked tomatoes, are high in the phytochemical lycopene. Lycopene has been indicated as the most efficient “oxygen quencher” (2), which can help to fight against free-radicals.
8. Green tea
Polyphenols are micronutrients found in plant-based foods that are extremely high in antioxidants. The particular polyphenols found in green tea have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumours.
As a major anti-inflammatory food, turmeric contains something called curcumin, which is the active component of this spice. The curcumin is shown to be toxic to cancer cells, however will leave normal cells alone. Given the amount of turmeric you would need to consume in order to see the benefits of curcumin, it is usually suggested to consume curcumin in supplemental form.
10. Fermented foods
A healthy gut is key to our overall health, and this is no different in cancer prevention. With a healthy microbiome, we ensure that we are excreting toxins that can be cancer-causing, through healthy bowel movements. Some of my favourites include sauerkraut and kimchi.
What is your favourite cancer-fighting food?! Tell us in the comments below!
Need guidance on choosing the right nutritional plan to support your fitness goals? Talk to one of our Personal Trainers for FREE!