Conversations around health and cancer are everywhere this time of year, from breast cancer awareness month (October) to November’s lung cancer awareness month and Movember – which raises awareness around such men’s health issues as prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Many of those conversations revolve around food, as there are many ingredients that have proven cancer-fighting and -preventative properties. Some of the biggies include cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, fish, ginger root, and many types of nuts.
According to several different sources, below is a list of the top 10 cancer-fighting foods you should consider for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Find suggestions and recipes for your menu here.
- Sweet potatoes are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants, and proteins that have powerful disease-preventing and protective effects.
- Cranberries are second only to blueberries when it comes to fruit packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants. Cranberries also are a good source of resveratrol, the same health-enhancing compound found in red wine.
- Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamin K1 and vitamin C, as well as manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. High in antioxidants, Brussels sprouts also contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which assist in activating cancer-fighting enzyme systems in the body.
- Broccoli contains large amounts of sulforaphane, a powerful compound that boosts protective enzymes, removes cancer-causing chemicals and targets the type of cancer stem cells that aid in tumor growth.
- Berries are a good source of cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Black raspberries, in particular, have high levels of anthocyanins—phytochemicals that slow the growth of premalignant cells.
- Walnuts are rich in phytosterols, which have been shown to block estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, possibly slowing the cells’ growth.
- Garlic can stop the formation of carcinogens in the stomach and intestines.
- Green tea is a superstar cancer fighter and immunity booster that fights free radical damage, shrinks existing tumors and inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It also reduces your risk of heart disease and lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Spinach is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also rich in flavonoids that flush out free radicals.
- Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that aids in preventing cell damage and may slow the growth of cancer cells.
Now that you know what’s on the list, how will you incorporate cancer-fighting foods into your holiday menu?
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