8 Foods That Help Prevent Cancer

8 Foods That Help Prevent Cancer

Broccoli, walnuts, tomatoes, mushrooms, and berries contain plant compounds that are antioxidants and support cancer prevention.

Nutrition experts recommend limiting the consumption of processed foods, salty foods, and sugary drinks. Instead, they suggest building a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables, which are beneficial for overall health. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamins and minerals that improve overall health and help prevent cancer.


Garlic has the ability to protect the body against cancer and contribute to inhibiting the development of cancer cells. This benefit is due to its ability to enhance the activity of natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages (a type of white blood cell important for immune function). People can consume raw garlic instead of cooking it to obtain more benefits.


Varieties such as shiitake, oyster, and maitake mushrooms contain a substance called ergothioneine. This is an antioxidant that helps protect blood cells, especially white blood cells and red blood cells. Supplementing with this antioxidant helps the body counteract oxidative stress and reduces the risk of cancer.

A study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition in 2021 found that people who consumed about 30 grams of mushrooms per day had a 45% lower risk of developing cancer compared to those who did not consume mushrooms. The data was analyzed by scientists at Penn State University (USA) from 17 cancer studies published between 1966 and 2020, involving over 19,500 patients.


Broccoli is a source of sulforaphane, glucosinolate, phenolics, and antioxidant vitamins. It also contains vitamins C, A, E, K, and minerals such as selenium, zinc, and iron. These nutrients are responsible for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting activities.

Jed Fahey, a nutrition biochemist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the USA, states that broccoli has a significant amount of sulforaphane. It can help reduce inflammation, enhance protective enzymes, and eliminate cancer-causing chemicals. This compound also protects the body and contributes to preventing cancer in the prostate, lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines.


Tomatoes have anti-cancer properties due to glycoalkaloids and tomatine. These substances can support the body’s cell cycle regulation and destroy cancer cells. In particular, lycopene can inhibit the development of cancerous tumors and contribute to preventing prostate cancer. Consuming cooked tomatoes helps the body absorb more lycopene present in this fruit.


Legumes such as lentils, green beans, and peas are low in fat, rich in protein, and high in insoluble fiber, which supports digestion and a healthy gut. They also contain anti-cancer compounds such as phenolic acids and anthocyanins, which are flavonoids found in plants.


Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain phytochemicals (anthocyanins). These compounds have the ability to fight cancer by slowing the growth of pre-cancerous cells and preventing the formation of new blood vessels. Berries also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which helps reduce damage to normal cells and promotes cancer cell death during radiation therapy.


Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, tocopherol, phytosterols, and ellagic acid. These compounds contribute to slowing the development of breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and kidney cancer.


Eating the skin of apples provides flavonoids and polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits. The more flavonoids you consume, the lower the risk of lung cancer.

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