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These top antioxidant-rich, cancer-fighting foods include berries, broccoli, grapes, green tea, tomatoes, and turmeric. Plus, find out some of the great-tasting ways to incorporate anti-cancer foods at every meal.
You may know some cancer-preventive antioxidants, such as lycopene, by name—but don’t overlook the foods anti-cancer foods are packaged in. “Although we must single out specific, promising plant compounds and try to figure out how they work individually to protect us from cancer and other diseases, I absolutely believe the benefits of eating the whole plant are greater than the sum of the effects of its parts,” says Jed Fahey, ScD, director of Johns Hopkins University's Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory. What’s more, antioxidants from different plant foods work together to promote health. Fill your plate daily with a mix of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods and spices whether you’re trying to keep cancer at bay or prevent a recurrence, says Kim Dalzell, PhD, RD, of challengecancer.com. Here are top menu must-haves.
Berries: Small but mighty, berries are rich in cancer-preventive antioxidants, including anthocyanins. “Berry antioxidants seem to work best in early stages of cancer development to slow growth of precancerous cells and trigger abnormal cells to die,” says professor Gary Stoner, PhD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center.
Protection power: Animal studies and preliminary human studies suggest berries (especially black raspberries) may help prevent cancer in the mouth, esophagus, and colon.
Eat: 1 cup fresh or frozen berries or 2 tablespoons freeze-dried whole berry powder mixed into beverages, yogurt, and other foods daily