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Cancer Preventing Foods

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There is still no cure for cancer. But research suggests that good nutrition may go a long way towards preventing certain types of the disease. In 1997, the American Institute for Cancer Research reported that between 30-40% of all cancers are linked to poor dietary choices. Since that time, evidence has continued to strengthen and grow. A number of studies have concluded that the nutrients present in a number of foods may neutralize carcinogens, boost immunity, and prevent cell damage. Plainly stated, good nutrition can prevent cancer.

Recent studies on the link between diet and cancer have concentrated on antioxidants, a category that contains vitamins A, C, and E, and selenium. In addition, some scientists have expanded their research to include folic acid, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, coenzyme Q10, and a vareity of phytonutrients. In order to benefit from these nutritional powerhouses, experts recommend a diet that contains an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and seafood.

Cancer Fighting Foods Eating - a varied diet optimizes the cancer fighting properties found in food. While the above dietary guidelines maximize health, the addition of the following superfoods has been proven to prevent cancer. - Carrots contain beta carotene, which may help prevent a number of cancers, including lung, intestinal, prostate and breast. - Chives, garlic, and onions have been show to prevent stomach cancer. In addition, garlic increases the performance of cells that fight cancer. - Cruciferous vegetables, including bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and kale contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. - Folate rich foods protect against pancreatic cancer. This category includes asparagus, avocados, beans, broccoli, lettuce, liver, oranges, and spinach.

- Fruits have a number of cancer fighting qualities. Examples include citrus fruits known to neutralize carcinogens; red grapes contain bioflavonoids, a strong antioxidant, and resveratrol, which inhibits the growth of cancer cells; and papayas restrict the absorption of nitrosamines, a known cancer causing agent. - Mushrooms such as reishi and shitake boost the immune system and prevent cancer cells from multiplying - Selenium reduces the risk of prostate cancer. This mineral is found in fish, brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds. - Sweet potatoes, like carrots, contain a significant amount of beta carotene, which helps fight a number of cancers.

- Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks the free radicals thought to trigger cancer.

Although this information is encouraging, it important to remember that just as a healthy diet can prevent cancer, an unhealthy one may encourage it. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 550,000 people die from cancer each year. According to the World Health Organization 40% of these deaths are linked to lifestyle choices, which includes poor nutrition.

More about this author: Karen Gardner - 408021

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