A bowl is full of bright green steamed broccoli. You say “Okay!”-or “Where is the double cheeseburger? But you know that broccoli is good for you, especially when there is no melted cheese. The question is, how effective? More importantly, can it (or any food) help prevent diseases, such as cancer?
The answer is yes-although no one can say that one food or another can prevent or stop the development of cancer, certain foods do have anti-cancer properties. Despite this, there are numerous studies showing that an overall healthy diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables is the key to avoiding heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
In fact, scientists know more than nothing to eat-processed meats, savoury foods, sugary drinks, large amounts of red meat-than piled-up plates with fruits and vegetables. But they do know that those foods are important.
A comprehensive review of thousands of studies on diet, physical activity and weight conducted by the World Cancer Research Foundation and the American Cancer Institute points out that eating more plant-based foods is beneficial. Foods such as broccoli, berries, and garlic show the strongest link with cancer prevention.
They are low in calories and fat and are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of cancer.
Antioxidants, Phytochemicals, and Cancer
You have heard that many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, lycopene and beta-carotene. Studies have shown that people who eat foods rich in fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of cancer. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Assistant Professor Jed W. Fahey, Master of Science, PhD MS said that a variety of chemicals from plants also seem to protect cells from harmful compounds in food and the environment, and prevent cell damage and mutation. The School of Public Health and its School of Medicine study how cruciferous vegetables can help prevent disease.
Dr Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, associate director of cancer prevention and control at the University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center, said that a diet that can prevent cancer is actually the same as the healthy food you should eat It’s no different. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and lean meat or fish.
Weight is also important. Keep your weight scale healthy and lose weight if necessary. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of oesophagal cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Garlic: Stinky Breath, but Super Healthy
Who thought that garlic breathing is good for you? The same sulfur compounds that cause the smell can also prevent carcinogens from forming in your body, speeding up DNA repair and killing cancer cells.
Want more? Garlic fights bacteria including Helicobacter pylori (Helicobacter pylori that are associated with certain ulcers and stomach cancers). Studies have shown that garlic can reduce the risk of stomach cancer, colon cancer, oesophagal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer. For maximum benefit, peel and chop the cloves and let them sit for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Colleen Doyle, managing director of nutrition and sports activities at the American Cancer Society, said this activates enzymes and releases the most protective sulfur compounds.
The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume about one clove of garlic a day to promote good health.
Garlic is an important source of the Allium family, but some studies have shown that onions, leeks, chives and shallots may also prevent gastric cancer.
Broccoli: Phytochemical Powerhouse
Fahey explained that your body also produces these enzymes in the intestines, which are activated when raw or cooked broccoli passes through.
The most protective of these enzymes is sulforaphane. Fahey said: “Broccoli is the best source of this particular compound.” He studies the sulforaphane in broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Scientists are studying how sulforaphane reduces the risk of cancer, from detoxification of harmful substances in the body (such as smoke and other environmental pollutants) to act as an antibacterial agent by attacking Helicobacter pylori.
According to a review of hundreds of clinical studies conducted for the World Cancer Research Foundation, broccoli and its cousins have been shown to treat prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, neck cancer, head cancer, oral cancer, and oesophagus. Cancer and stomach cancer have the most protective effects, as well as the American Cancer Institute.
Tomatoes: Potential Weapon Against Prostate Cancer
The red colour in tomatoes makes juicy, ripe tomatoes difficult to resist-making them a potential weapon against prostate cancer and heart disease. This red hue comes from a phytochemical called lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant, the highest concentration of which is concentrated in tomatoes. Several studies have shown that a diet rich in lycopene is associated with lowering the risk of prostate cancer.
However, researchers are not yet sure whether the source and type of lycopene have different effects on cells, and whether other diet and lifestyle factors play a role in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
In laboratory tests, lycopene prevented the growth of other types of cancer cells, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and the endometrium (endometrium). Researchers speculate that lycopene can protect cells from damage that may cause cancer by strengthening the immune system. According to the American Cancer Institute, they suspect that lycopene can interfere with the abnormal growth of cells, thereby preventing tumour growth.
Strawberries: Rich in Antioxidants
Berries have won the honour of fighting disease, just as children in sports win trophies: they just keep reproducing. Studies have shown that it may provide protection against heart disease, memory loss and cancer. In a recent study, berry extract slowed the growth of cancer cells. Specifically, strawberry and blackberry extracts have the greatest impact on colon cancer cells.