In many cases, cancer is a lottery that no-one wants to win. The multitude of causes means that we are still largely in the dark when it comes to both treatment and prevention.
While, for now at least, no one can guarantee a hard and fast solution to the disease that kills more people in the Western world than any other, there are steps that we can take to give ourselves the best possible chance of avoiding this terrible illness. Gathered from experts from across the world, here are six foods that we can all eat that have been proven to help prevent cancer.
1. Green tea
Green teas are packed with crucial antioxidants and caffeine. Both substances have been shown to help damaged cells die quickly, which can lower the probability that they will turn cancerous, according to oncologist Dr Chung Yang. While bottled green teas may contain added sugar, experts suggest investing in a packet of teabags for healthy brewing at home.
Seafood contains whole heaps of vital nutrients, not least of which is the fatty acid Omega-3. Fatty acids are essential for maintaining a healthy circulatory and cardiovascular system and make a great alternative to typically more unhealthy red meats. Fresh water species, such as trout have also been identified by experts as an effective anti-inflammatory agent – crucial in cancer prevention.
Pistachios and almonds are the snack of choice for leading cancer expert Matthew Yurgelun. Unsalted nuts are a far more healthy alternative to other common processed snacks, helping to reduce the risk of obesity related illnesses such as cancer. Nuts have even been shown to combat the ill-effects of smoking, with smokers who regularly eat nuts less likely to contract lung cancer than those who don’t.
4. Pumpkin seeds
Often discarded in the aftermath of a pie, pumpkin seeds are actually one the great unsung heroes of the snack world. They have been shown to contain more of a prostate cancer-fighting vitamin than most other nuts and seeds. Whether roasted or served in a salad, pumpkin seeds are a delicious way of improving your diet.
5. Bulgur wheat
Though it may have become popularized by nutritionists and bogus dietary experts, bulgur wheat is an undeniably healthy way to bulk up a meal. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, increasing the amount of wholegrain in your diet can help your overall risk of contracting cancer to drop, possibly due to the large amount of fiber. Of all the wholegrains, bulgur is among the most fibrous, hence its status as a cancer-fighting super food.
6. Navy beans
Of course, wholegrain is not the only source of fiber. If you don’t have any bulgur to hand, experts suggest incorporating navy beans into your meal plans. The fiber in half a cup of navy beans is enough to reduce your risk of cancer by up to 11 percent if eaten daily, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Delicious and nutritious, these beans are a great way to easily inject some health into your diet.
While we can never say with absolute certainty that eating some foods and avoiding others will lead to a long and healthy life, years of research have made it clear that some things are more beneficial than others. By incorporating some of these foods on this list into your diet, you give yourself the best chance possible of never having to worry about cancer.