Eating your way to cancer freedom

The National Cancer Institute posits that nearly one third of all cancer cases may be related to diet, and studies mount almost daily solidifying the links between cancer and nutrition. Proper nutrition is an inexpensive and easy way help support the body's efforts to prevent or beat the disease. So take the nutrition and cancer link seriously today by regularly adding the following foods to your diet:

Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and bok choy contain compounds that seem to stunt the growth of cancer cells and help the body produce enzymes that prevent cancer cells from damaging healthy cells, possibly fighting against prostate, liver, colon, lung, cervical, uterine and breast cancers.

Berries: Tasty and overflowing with antioxidants, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries demonstrate promise in deactivating carcinogenic substances, as well as protecting healthy cells from cancerous ones.

Avocados: This buttery smooth fruit contains a mix of phytochemicals and healthy fats that amplify each other's cancer fighting benefits. Avocados are loaded with Carotenoids, Glutathione, Lutein, Oleic Acid, folate, Vitamin K, Potassium, Folate, and Vitamin B6 and fiber.

Flaxseeds: The seeds (not just the oil) are full of fiber, Lignans, antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. Recent studies have shown a positive link between the consumption of flaxseeds and a lowered risk for breast and colon cancers.

Garlic: The international list of scientific studies detailing garlic's cancer fighting abilities is long and growing. People consuming elevated amounts of fresh garlic may enjoy a significantly decreased risk of stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, prostate and breast cancers.

Green Tea: Many recent studies indicate that green tea's antioxidant mix has the potential to stall cancer cells from taking over the colon, liver, breast, prostate, lungs and skin.

Turmeric: This pungent member of the ginger family that makes curry yellow appears to have anti-inflammatory compounds that may inhibit cancers of the colon, stomach and bowels.

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, chicory, mustard greens and Swiss chard are full of Carotenoids, Folate and fiber, which battle cancers of the stomach, skin, pancreas, lungs, mouth and larynx.

Tomatoes: Full of Lycopene, tomatoes may hinder the progress of several cancers, most notably prostate cancer. And unlike many other cancer-fighting foods, processing the fruit into sauces and pastes actually seems to enhance the tomato's cancer-fighting abilities.

Grapes: The deep purple and red varieties contain Resveratrol, which shows strong antioxidant properties. Lab tests indicate it may hinder the damage that makes cells vulnerable to cancer takeover in the first place.

Generally speaking, the more colorful the food, the more cancer-fighting phytonutrients it contains, so doctors recommend serving up naturally colorful meals. Also remember that the body absorbs nutrients more effectively from fresh foods rather than from supplements. As always, talk with your doctor about any dietary concerns, then eat healthy to stay healthy!

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