5 Foods That Reduce Your Risk For Cancer


Published: April 28, 2015

We know that one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk for breast cancer is to be cautious about how you take care of your body and what you put in it. While there is no single food that can stop you from getting cancer, research indicates that what you eat can strengthen your immune system, helping your body fight disease and keeping your risk low.

In order to keep your body in fighting shape, be sure to get in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise per week and include the following foods that have been proven to help prevent breast cancer.

1. Orange and Yellow Foods

Sure all fruits and vegetables are great disease busters but when it comes to breast cancer, orange and yellow produce appear to have an edge. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that women that had high amounts of carotenoids (the pigment that gives orange fruits and veggies their color) may be at reduced risk for cancer. Give your body a boost by including at least 2 servings of carrots, paw paw, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables a day.


2. Cruciferous Vegetables

cruciferous vegetables

There’s a reason to add cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, collard greens, turnips and other vegetables from the brassica family to your diet. Rich in the sulfur-rich compounds known as glucosinolates, these vegetables protect the body from breast and other cancers by inactivating cancer causing agents and protecting the body from cell damage. But, how should you cook them? Boiling tends to destroy the disease fighting properties. Steam or lightly saute cruciferous vegetables to retain the full nutritive value. Also, adding a dab of olive oil may increase the amount of nutrients the body absorbs.

RELATED: 5 Diet Blunders That Are Increasing Your Risk For Cancer

3. Fatty Fish


Fishes such as mackerel and sardines are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which although are represented with conflicting information, may be a strong ally in the prevention of cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, suppress the formation and growth of tumors and keep cells healthy. Get regular doses of this essential nutrient by substituting 2-3 servings of fish for red meat every week. Besides sardines and mackerel, herring, trout, whitebait, cod and salmon are great additions. Plant-based sources of omega 3 fatty acids include chia seeds, flax and walnuts. Enjoy the nuts in small portions and sprinkle 1-3 spoons of the seed in your cereal or smoothie.

4. Curcumin

Yet another yellow/orange food with terrific benefits. In animal studies, Curcumin, an anti-oxidant found in turmeric slows the growth and spread of cancer. Human studies are underway and appear promising at this time. Reap the potential benefits of curcumin by adding turmeric to your stews, grating a small piece into your salad or adding a small chuck for some spice and glam to your favorite smoothie.

MORE: Breast Cancer Survivor VeRitta Smith on Self Care And Finding Purpose in the Midst of the Storm

5. Garlic


When most people think of garlic, they think of the powerful scent it exudes. Turns out the same allyl sulfides that give it that pungent smell help the body cycle cells and interrupts the cells that may become cancerous. Fortunately, you do not have to eat the whole bulb to reap the benefits, the World Health Organization recommends that people consume a daily dose of 2 to 5 g of fresh garlic (approximately one clove), 0.4 to 1.2 g of dried garlic powder, 2 to 5 mg of garlic oil, 300 to 1,000 mg of garlic extract, or other formulations that are equal to 2 to 5 mg of allicin.

Rev up your body’s defense system by including these foods in your diet today.

Here’s to your health!

MORE: Jelilat’s Story: Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer

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About Cordialis Msora-Kasago

Cordialis Msora-Kasago is a Registered Dietitian (R.D) and a pioneer in the discussion of modern day healthy lifestyles in Africa. She is the founder of The African Pot Nutrition - an organization that improves the health of African people through sustainable diet and lifestyle programs. Follow her on twitter @africadietitian.

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