Cancers don’t develop overnight. These cancer-fighting foods and other lifestyle moves can significantly reduce your cancer risk. Of course, you should always check with your doctor with any concerns.
1. Cut out Sugary Drinks.
Not only do sugary drinks contribute to obesity and diabetes, they may also increase your risk of endometrial cancer. According to research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, women who drank large amounts of sugar-laden beverages had up to an 87 percent higher risk of endometrial cancer, likely due to the pounds these drinks can add.
2. Eat “resistant starches.”
Resistant starch, found in foods like green bananas, rolled oats, and white beans, may help reduce the increased risk of colon cancer from a diet high in red meat. According to the journal Cancer Prevention Research, participants in a study had a 30 percent increase in cell proliferation in the rectal tissue after eating 300 grams of lean red meat a day (about 10 ounces) for four weeks. After adding 40 grams of resistant starches a day while eating the meat, cell proliferation levels went back down to normal.
3. Stand More. Sit Less
New studies suggest that people who spend most of their day sitting are at a 24 percent higher risk for colon and endometrial cancer than people who spend less time in a chair. Other research showed that people who spent more time in front of the TV had a 54 percent increased risk of colon cancer than those who watched less TV. Time to switch to a standing desk? If that’s not an option, get up and walk around for a few minutes at least once an hour.
4. Steam your broccoli.
Broccoli is a cancer-preventing super food—one you should eat frequently. But take note: A study done in 2008 by Italian researchers found that steamed broccoli contains more glucosinolate (the healthy components of the vegetable) than boiled, fried, or microwaved broccoli. Nutrients leach into the cooking water instead of remaining in the vegetable, according to the Harvard Family Health Guide.
5. Eat Brazil Nuts.
They’re rich in selenium, a trace mineral found in soil that convinces cancer cells to commit suicide and helps cells repair their DNA. A Harvard study of more than 1,000 men with prostate cancer found those with the highest blood levels of selenium were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced disease over 13 years than men with the lowest levels. And a dramatic five-year study conducted at Cornell University and the University of Arizona showed that 200 micrograms of selenium daily—the amount in just two unshelled Brazil nuts—resulted in 63 percent fewer prostate tumors, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung malignancies, and a 39 percent overall decrease in cancer deaths. Make sure to get selenium from food, not supplements. Research shows that men who consumed selenium supplements actually had an increased prostate cancer risk. This is why nuts are the best disease fighter in your pantry. That means they aren’t only good for preventing cancer.
These are just a few of the many foods to eat, things to drink and lifestyle changes you can make to help fight cancer.