An increasing number of studies are showing links between healthy eating habits and the prevention of certain forms of cancer. Moreover, research has found that colorful fresh foods which tend to be high in immune-boosting phytochemicals, are particularly adept at this. Below is a discussion of the different dietary changes that can be made to make sure these phytochemicals are part of the daily diet.
Perhaps the best-known of red foods, tomatoes, have been linked to decreased risk of cancer of the ovaries. In a study of some 15,000 women, it was found that eating just a half-cup of tomatoes at least four times a week can lower the chances of developing tumors on the ovaries by a whopping 50%. Consumption of tomatoes was connected in another study to fighting pancreatic malignancy as well. It is thought that this is due to its lycopene, which is also found in red peppers and red berries.
The phytochemicals which lend orange vegetables like squash and carrots their color have been proven to be effective in treating malignancy in the digestive tract. Caffeic acid, found in high quantities in yams, has been proven to slow the development of malignant cells in the breast. Orange fruits and vegetables should be eaten around three times a week.
Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons, tangerines and papayas, are excellent means to help ward off tumor formation through the diet. This is because these foods are all high in Vitamin C which has been shown to be extremely effective at fighting digestive cancers, such as those of the mouth, throat and colon. Apart from Vitamin C, they are also high in phyto-compounds that slow the development of tumors and promote overall healing through detoxification.
Research has linked the consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy and endive, to a lower risk of several cancers, including those of the ovaries, stomach and colon. Scientists believe that this is likely due to the fact that these green foods are an excellent source of glucosinolates, which chemicals with anti-cancer properties and Vitamin K, which is particularly effective in reducing the risk of pancreatic malignancies. Try to include them in the diet at least once a day.
While color-rich fruits and vegetables can ward off cancer, there are many white or pale-colored ones that have that ability, too. They include mushrooms as well as members of the allium family like garlic and onions. Both mushrooms and alliums have been linked to lower rates of digestive cancer. The allium family is high in a chemical called allicin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Onions also contain phytochemicals linked to reduce risk of colon cancer. Mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D that can lower development of malginancy in the ovaries. Add them to the diet twice a day if possible for maximum effect.
These colorful fruits and vegetables will not only lend interest and flavor to the diet, but also help reduce the risk of developing tumors or to help combat it if it does become established. These foods are also easy to work into a diet in soups, salads, casseroles or fruit-based desserts.
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