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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

13 Cancer-Fighting Foods

There are so many foods hyped to be a miracle cure for cancer. But do remember that none of the foods can cure cancer. Certain foods that help reduce the risks of cancer. Continue reading.

Can Foods Prevent Cancer?

There are no foods that prevent cancer. You can make healthy food choices. Healthy foods consumed consistently over a period can help you lower the risk of certain cancers. As obesity is linked to 12 different types of cancer, make sure the food you choose does not increase your body fat.

For reducing the risk of cancers, try the following

  1. Include lots of vegetables and fruits

  2. Avoid foods that increase the risk of cancers

What DoThe “Cancer-Fighting” Foods Contain?

The term “cancer-fighting foods” refers to foods that help lower the risk of developing cancers.

Most of the cancer-fighting foods are loaded with phytochemicals or phytonutrients. These are chemicals that have been found in plants that lessen the risk of chronic conditions.

13 Cancer-Fighting Foods

The following foods are considered to be cancer-fighting foods. Learn the benefits.

  1. Garlic

  2. Broccoli

  3. Tomatoes

  4. Strawberries

  5. Carrots

  6. Whole grains

  7. Apples

  8. Fatty fish

  9. Walnuts

  10. Legumes

  11. Green tea

  12. Turmeric

  13. Grapes


Garlic contains Sulphur

Garlic, Credits: pixabay

The suphur present in garlic helps stop cancer-causing substances to form in the body. They aid in DNA repair and can kill cancer cells.

Garlic can minimize the risk of stomach, colon, esophageal, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. It fights against the Helicobacter pylori infection.

The World Health Organization advises individuals to consume around one garlic clove daily to support good health.



Brocolli, Credits: pixabay

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage contain phytochemicals called glucosinolates. This phytochemical is known to produce protective enzymes that rupture the cell walls.

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane that inhibits cancer cell growth and stimulates cell death in colon cancer cells.

Broccoli is most protective against cancers of the prostate, lung, colon, breast, bladder, liver, neck, head, mouthesophagus, and stomach.


Tomatoes contain lycopene

Tomatoes, Credits: pixabay

Tomatoes contain a phytochemical called lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene helps stops the growth of tumors and improves immunity.

Tomatoes help fight against prostate cancer.

You can take both cooked and processed tomatoes to avail of the benefits of this red vegetable.


Strawberries contain ellagic acid

Strawberries, Credits: pixabay

Strawberry, raspberry and Aronia berry are rich in vitamin C and ellagic acids. The extracts of these berries slowed the growth of colon cancer cells. They also contain flavonoids that suppress the enzymes that cause DNA repair.


This easily available vegetable contains beta carotene that protects the cells from toxins and slows the growth of cancer cells. Carrots contain a natural pesticide called falcarinol that has anti-inflammatory effects.

Carrot is said to act against HPV (human papilloma virus), thereby reducing the risk of cervical cancer.

Whole Grains

Whole grains contain fiber and antioxidants that help lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and whole bread can be the ideal choices.


Apples contain polyphenols that help fight inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and infections. Polyphenolphloretin inhibits glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) plays a role in advanced-stage cell growth in certain types of cancer.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel contains vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. People who intake fatty fish had a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer. Also people who take fish oil supplements had a lower risk of developing colon cancer.


All nuts have cancer-protecting properties. Walnuts contain pedunculagin, which the body metabolizes into urolithins. Urolithins bind to estrogen receptors and may play a role in preventing breast cancer.


Legumes like peas and lentils, are rich in fiber and help lower the risk of cancers. Legume consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Also, people who consume diets rich in fiber had a reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and helps lower the risk of liver, breast, pancreatic, lung, esophageal, and skin cancer. Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3 gallate that acts against urokinase that is necessary for the growth of cancers.


Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin was found to decrease the spread of colon cancer cells by targeting a specific enzyme related to cancer growth.


Grapes contain antioxidants like activin and resveratrol. These antioxidants offer protection against cancer and degenerative diseases. Resveratrol is known to inhibit the growth of several cancer cells.

Foods to Avoid

Certain foods can increase the risk of cancers. The following should be avoided.

  1. Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon

  2. Limit red meat

  3. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes

  4. Avoid trans fat

  5. Cut down on sugar and refines carbohydrates

Take-Home Message

Include lots of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants that help fight against free radicals and help reduce the risk of cancers.

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