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27 Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

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Fruit

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.

441 comments

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5:02PM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

Thanks.

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

12:04PM PST on Jan 8, 2014

I would use caution when promoting large doses of antioxidants if a person is undergoing chemotherapy since there is evidence out there that large does of vitamin C in particular because of it's great antioxidant properties can actually protect cancer cells from oxidation right along with the healthy cells, rendering chemo up to 50-70% less effective. As a preventative and for daily maintenance it is great, when undergoing treatment it can have a counter effect unfortunately.

3:20AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Thanks

8:05AM PST on Dec 26, 2013

Thanks

7:50PM PST on Nov 27, 2013

wonderful, but how about 1 page with links for details?????

12:51PM PST on Nov 27, 2013

Thanks for the list ! copied!

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