Food May prevent Nutrients Notables
Beans (such as chickpeas, lentils, black beans, lima beans) Colorectal cancer Fiber and phytochemicals (saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid) Phytochemicals have been shown to slow the growth of tumors, and researchers have identified probable evidence that fiber protects against cancer. Beans are also a great source of vegetable protein, which is helpful if you are limiting red meat intake.
Berries Skin, bladder, lung, esophageal, colorectal, and breast cancers Vitamin C, fiber, and phytochemicals like ellagic acid, flavonoids, and antioxidants Blueberries contain anthocyanosides, possibly the food kingdom's most potent antioxidants, which attack cell-damaging free radicals.
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy) Many cancers, including colorectal, breast, oral, gastrointestinal, endometrial, lung, liver, and cervical cancers Fiber, folate, glucosinolates, crambene, indole-3-carbinol, and isothiocyanates Studies suggest these veggies fight cancer by regulating enzymes in the body.
Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, Romaine lettuce) Mouth, pharynx, larynx, stomach, breast, skin, and lung cancers Fiber, folate, carotenoids, saponins, and flavonoids Research suggests the carotenoids act as antioxidants, eliminating possible cancer-causing free radicals from the body.
Flaxseed Colon, breast, skin, and lung cancers Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans (plant estrogens), alphalinolenic acid Flaxseed contains more lignans than any other known food. These phytoestrogens seem to mimic the hormone estrogen. Note that flaxseed oil does not naturally contain lignans.
Garlic (and other allium vegetables such as onions, scallions, leeks, chives) Stomach, colon, prostate, bladder, skin, lung, esophageal, and breast cancers Allicin, allixin, allyl sulfides, quercetin, and organosulfur compounds Research shows a “dose-response relationship” with garlic. That is, the more you eat, the higher the protective benefits.
Green tea Colon, liver, breast, prostate, lung, skin, bladder, stomach, pancreas, and esophageal cancers Catechins, a type of flavonoid, which are potent antioxidants A 2007 study by Japan's National Cancer Center showed that men who drank five or more cups a day may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer by 48 percent.
Pomegranates Prostate, lung, skin, and colon cancers Antioxidants, polyphenolic flavonoids Researchers say pomegranates, which have high levels of antioxidants, have more anti-inflammatory properties than green tea or red wine.
Red and purple grapes Lymph, liver, stomach, skin, breast, and leukemia cancers Resveratrol, a type of polyphenol Resveratrol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although wine contains resveratrol, research also shows a link between alcohol and other types of cancer, so it's not the best choice. Jam and raisins don't contain much; eat fresh dark-colored grapes.
Soybeans (also soy milk, soy yogurt,tofu, edamame, soynuts) Breast and prostate cancers Phytoestrogens called isoflavones, saponins, phenolic acids, phytic acid, and protein kinase inhibitors Researchers believe soy isoflavones mimic hormones in the body, which may translate to cancer-fighting capabilities. Researchers also recommend that because of possible hormone mimicking, women taking anti-estrogen medicines should limit or avoid soy until more is known.
Tomatoes Most notably, prostate cancer; also breast, lung, and endometrial cancers Lycopene, an antioxidant It appears the red fruit's cancer-fighting potential is higher when the tomato is in sauce, juice, or paste form.
Whole grains (such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn) Colorectal cancer Fiber, antioxidants, phenols, lignans, phytoestrogens, and saponins The phytochemicals from whole grains appear to protect cells from the damage that can lead to cancer. The disease-fighting nutrients and fiber found in the bran and germ of grains are stripped out in the milling of refined grains like white flour, white rice, and pasta.