If you think cancer is inevitable because of family history, think again because you can still fight off cancer by improving your lifestyle starting with your diet. While there are foods that are bad for your health and increase your risk of having cancer, there are also healthy foods that can strengthen your immune system. Your risk of cancer can also depend on what you eat, and don’t eat. Be smart with your food choices and go for a cancer prevention diet that everyone should take.
To boost your immune system in fighting off cancer, your body needs more cancer-fighting nutrients, more fiber and less fat. Plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber. Fiber is good for your digestive system by keeping it clean and healthy. When you have a healthy digestive tract, you need not worry about cancer-causing compounds to stay in your body and do harm. Fiber also helps your body detoxify faster so as not to give time for cancer-causing substances to come into contact with the good cells in your body.
Lessen Fat Intake
If you cannot cut out meat completely from your diet, you should at least keep it to a minimum and choose the healthier meats. By doing so, you automatically cut down your intake of unhealthy fats. Avoid a diet with saturated fats and trans fats. Unsaturated fats will decrease your risk of cancer. After knowing how to choose the healthy food, make sure that you cook and handle them in healthy ways as well.
Vitamins and Minerals
Load your body with vitamins and minerals to better fight off cancer cells. Folic acid helps your body form new cells and tissues. Eat more citrus fruits and dark, green leafy vegetables to get your folic acid requirement and keep your red blood cells healthy. Although more studies are needed, calcium and vitamin D are not just good for your bones but also help in fighting off prostate, breast and colon cancer. Include sardines, salmon, yogurt, cheese, chicken liver and egg yolk to your diet to obtain more calcium and vitamin D. Non-nutrient substances like terpenes, phenols, and flavonoids are collectively known as phytochemicals and they help in fighting off cancer. Soy beans, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, peppers, berries, tomatoes and citrus fruits are rich in phytochemicals.
Free radicals are dangerous substances that damage the cells in your body through oxidation. Although your cells have a natural defense mechanism to fight free radicals, they also need reinforcement to fight cancer which is the work of antioxidants. Choose a diet filled with antioxidants such as beta-carotene and selenium to strengthen your protection against cancer. Protect yourself from colorectal cancer by eating foods rich in calcium like yogurt and bony fishes. Feed also on foods that have naturally occurring antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
A better alternative source of protein would be soy products. Include more soy products to your diet to lower your risk of cancer. Soy has phytonutrients, isoflavones in particular, that help fight off cancer. Isoflavones block the carcinogenic effects of bile acids thus protecting you from colon cancer. Isoflavones help your body from risk of prostate and breast cancer by regulating the production of sex hormones. Soybeans, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk are good sources of isoflavones. However, highly processed soy foods like soy beverages, soy sauce and soy burgers may not provide enough isoflavones.
A cancer prevention diet that everyone should take must have omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids which help produce cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Olive oil, which is monounsaturated oil, also helps in fighting off cancer. Stay away from saturated and hydrogenated oils.