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27 Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

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Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply even more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Scientists believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage.

Chili peppers and jalapenos contain a chemical, capsaicin, which may neutralize certain cancer-causing substances (nitrosamines) and may help prevent cancers such as stomach cancer.

Figs apparently have a derivative of benzaldehyde. It has been reported that investigators at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Tokyo say benzaldehyde is highly effective at shrinking tumors. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says figs, which contain vitamins A and C, and calcium, magnesium and potassium, may curtail appetite and improve weight-loss efforts. Fig juice is also a potent bacteria killer in test-tube studies.

Grapefruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits, contain monoterpenes, believed to help prevent cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the body. Some studies show that grapefruit may inhibit the proliferation of breast-cancer cells in vitro. They also contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.

Grapes, red grapes contain bioflavonoids, powerful antioxidants that work as cancer preventives. Grapes are also a rich source of resveratrol, which inhibits the enzymes that can stimulate cancer-cell growth and suppress immune response. They also contain ellagic acid, a compound that blocks enzymes that are necessary for cancer cells–this appears to help slow the growth of tumors.

Oranges and lemons contain Iimonene which stimulates cancer-killing immune cells (lymphocytes, e.g.) that may also break down cancer-causing substances.

Papayas have vitamin C that works as an antioxidant and may also reduce absorption of cancer-causing nitrosamines from the soil or processed foods. Papaya contains folacin (also known as folic acid), which has been shown to minimize cervical dysplasia and certain cancers.

Raspberries contain many vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and antioxidants known as anthocyanins that may protect against cancer. According to a recent research study reported by Cancer Research (2001;61:6112-6119) rats fed diets of 5 percent to 10 percent black raspberries saw the number of esophageal tumors decrease by 43 percent to 62 percent. Research reported in the journal Nutrition and Cancer in May 2002 shows black raspberries may also thwart colon cancer. Black raspberries are rich in antioxidants, thought to have even more cancer-preventing properties than blueberries and strawberries.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks roaming oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, that are suspected of triggering cancer. It appears that the hotter the weather, the more lycopene tomatoes produce. They also have vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer. Watermelons, carrots, and red peppers also contain these substances, but in lesser quantities. It is concentrated by cooking tomatoes. Scientists in Israel have shown that lycopene can kill mouth cancer cells. An increased intake of lycopene has already been linked to a reduced risk of breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancer. (Note: Recent studies indicate that for proper absorption, the body also needs some oil along with lycopene.

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Read more: Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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2:04AM PDT on Jun 16, 2015

I guess you could say I’m a poster child for having an annual mammogram. In December, 2008, a radiation oncologist noticed some suspicious spots on my mammogram. The spots were small and deep within the tissue; there was no lump that could be felt by hand. My doctor told me that the cells, classified as ductal carcinoma, had probably been developing for several years.

The recommended treatment was surgery. I had an MRI at the same facility where I’d had the mammogram and scheduled the surgery. Then I got to talking with some friends. By coincidence, one of my friend that had the same problem told me about how he cure his prostate cancer with cannabis oil he order from:, i was so scared of surgery i had to try the cannabis oil after i had done so many research on cannabis and hemp oil, we order the cannabis oil from:, after weeks of treatment i went to the doctor and he said that the cell has stop developing. i am perfectly ok after taking the medication for the complete treatment plan.

4:45PM PDT on May 26, 2015

Good list. Thank you for your post Melissa.

10:41AM PST on Feb 20, 2015


6:32AM PST on Jan 15, 2015


12:44AM PST on Dec 18, 2014


5:02PM PDT on Aug 15, 2014


1:06PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

Yummy, yummy. Also– eliminate meat and dairy, it will do wonders for your health and for the planet!! You will also save 31 animals per year from slaughter, all by yourself. :)) Go vegan. For your health, for the animals, and for the planet!!!! You won't regret it.

7:32PM PDT on May 21, 2014

Most of the food listed here is pretty tasty so they should be easy to incorporate into daily eating habits

5:10AM PDT on Apr 27, 2014

Thank you for sharing

5:08AM PDT on Apr 27, 2014

Match them with appropriate exercising

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So cute. She may be dreaming she plays with a ball !

Not to mention that massive fishing operations that sell to the companies that make such useless sup…

Thanks for sharing.


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