5 Foods to Lower Your Cancer Risk and Boost Your Health

11foods to lower cancer risk prevention
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WHO warns of 35 million cases of new cancers to occur by 2050. That’s so alarming to be cautious about. It’s that one abnormal cell that divides uncontrollably causing damage in your body tissues. 

When the conversation is directed to whether a food diet can prevent cancer, the answer is yes and no. That’s because too much of certain foods can increase the risk and only certain foods in the right quantity can reduce the risk.

You may wonder on what grounds food can help; here they are: 

  1. The quantity of specific food you consume will determine the effects of the nutrients on your body, which may vary.
  2. How you prepare the food can influence how helpful or risky it can be.
  3. Few substances in a food can help lower or increase the risk of cancer.

That’s why, you need to be careful while consuming cancer-fighting foods. In this article, I will help you with the foods that reduce the cancer risk and strengthen your immune system. 

Which are those foods to reduce cancer risk?

Here are a few cancer foods to eat that are seen as more beneficial in lowering the cancer risk in individuals. 

1. Cruciferous Veggies

  • Cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and radishes, among many others. 
  • Besides being a good fibrous source in your cancer prevention diet, it also has nutrients such as carotenoids, folate, and vitamins C, K, and E, which are vital for your body. 
  • The sulfur-containing chemicals called glucosinolates in these veggies, when cooked, chewed, and digested, will break down into biologically active components such as sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, and more. In a study, it was found that indole-3-carbinol was effective in hindering the growth of abnormal cells on the cervix surface. 
  • More importantly, broccoli sprouts have greater amounts of sulforaphane, which has cancer-protective capabilities. 

2. Carrots 

  • Carrots have a good amount of antioxidants, potassium, fiber, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene to support your health. 
  • It can prevent cancer risk with alpha and beta carotene in it. The antioxidant beta carotene prevents cancer risk but when consumed specifically, it may not be very effective. 
  • Alpha-carotene was also found to have a higher cancer-protective effect than beta-carotene. Orange carrots also have alpha-carotene in them and both carrots and carrot juice can provide you with these antioxidants. 
  • It is said taking overall carotenoids from vegetables and fruits is more protective than taking a high intake of specific carotenoids from one vegetable.  

3. Flax seeds 

  • They have high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber-based lignans, and alpha-linolenic acid. Flax seeds are known for their cancer-preventive properties due to their Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • In one meta-analysis patients with breast cancer who are fed with flax seeds regularly showed a decreased risk of breast cancer, and the symptoms improved. Flax seed is also rich in plant lignans such as SDG (Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside), which is seen to inhibit cell growth by down-regulating ER beta and ER alpha and modifying estrogen signaling.
  • It’s thought that both SDG and omega-3 fatty acids can mediate anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities.

4. Whole grain food

  • Whole grain food has the potential to lower the risk of cancer by 7% when consumed for about 30 grams a day. Whole grain food is seen to have lowered risk of cancer for specific cancers such as colon, gastric, esophageal, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. 
  • Whole grains are cereal fiber, which increases the bulkiness of the feces and takes less time for gastrointestinal transit. That way, the carcinogens get diluted and the absorption will reduce. Particularly, wheat has short-chain fatty acids called butyrate and with wheat consumption, this increases. By inducing apoptosis, butyrate can suppress cancerous cell growth.

5. Pulses

  • The edible seeds from a legume group are called pulses, which include chickpeas, dry beans, groundnuts, lentils, cowpeas, and many others. While it is consumed for its richness in proteins and carbohydrates, it also has bioactive components that aid in alleviating the risk associated with cancer. 
  • The anthocyanins and iso flavanols, in pulses have been effective in targeting cancer pathways specifically. Proteins such as lectins have shown anti-cancer properties.

Nourishing today thriving tomorrow

The Wrap

1 in 6 women and 1 in 5 men during their lifetimes around the world would get some type of cancer. 30 to 40% of this burden comes from lifestyle factors such as alcohol, tobacco, physical inactivity, poor diet, and obesity. 

To lower cancer risks, you need adequate nutritional care and introduce physical activity into your routine. With a healthy diet for cancer prevention, you have a 10 to 20% chance of reducing it.

At Fitness with Nidhi, we help you choose the right diet for cancer prevention and help you live a healthy lifestyle.

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About the author

Nidhi Gupta is an ACE certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 10 years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals. She is passionate about helping people live healthier lives and loves sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. Get in touch with her to learn more about how she can help you on your fitness journey.
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