Help reduce your cancer risk through your diet - from eating more berries to drinking more green tea, check out the foods that can help prevent cancer.
Cancer remains a leading killer in the UK accounting for nearly a third of all deaths, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics late last year.
The number of people living with cancer in the UK has increased by almost half a million people in the last five years, and this looks set to continue to increase unless people start to take better care of themselves.
Indeed, it has been estimated that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone.
By simply incorporating these foods into your diet, you can help prevent your risk of developing cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain a group of substances known as glucosinolates which may help reduce the risk of cancer.
These are sulphur containing chemicals which prevent cells from DNA damage, help slow the growth of tumors, and even encourage cancer cells to die.
According to a study published in Nutrition and Cancer, glucosinolates prevent the development of cancer in several organs in rats and mice, including bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach.
Berries are known for being a wonderful superfood, containing vitamins A and C, fibre and folate which are all cancer-fighting nutrients.
According to the research published in the National Cancer Institute, berries are also rich in powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals that can cause cancer.
There is also research to suggest that antioxidants may slow or even prevent the development of cancer, keeping it from growing and spreading.
Turmeric is an Indian spice known for its many health benefits.
It contains curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent breast, stomach, bowel and colon cancer.
It is believed that curcumin can kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. Indeed, one study showed that combining curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells killed more cancer cells than chemotherapy alone.
Oily fish, such as salmon, is rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acid omega-3s which are believed to help slow cancer cell growth in areas including the lung, breast, colon and prostate.
A large review of studies carried out from Zhejiang University and the APCNS Centre of Nutrition concluded that eating oily fish could lower women’s breast cancer risk.
They analysed 26 international studies involving over 800,000 women and found that women who had consumed the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish were 14% less likely to have breast cancer, compared with those who ate the least.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is a healthy fat that is high in omega 3 fatty acids and has been shown to have possible anti-cancer benefits.
A study carried out by researchers at the University of Navarra in Pamplona found that women who added extra-virgin olive oil to their diet had a 62% lower risk of developing breast cancer over the next five years or so, compared with those who didn’t.
Simply use olive oil in place of shop-bought dressing to drizzle over your salad.
Tomatoes contain a very high level of the antioxidant-enriched chemical lycopene which gives them their cancer-fighting properties.
According to a study published in Nutrition and Cancer, lycopene prevents endometrial cancer cell growth, stopping the development of free radicals that could damage DNA.
Another study published in the medical journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found that men who ate more than 10 portions of tomatoes or tomato-based products a week had an 18% reduced risk of prostate cancer than those who didn’t.
Garlic is believed to have many anti-cancer properties as it has a number of active ingredients that attack cancer cells and stop them spreading.
Garlic helps stimulate the immune system’s natural defences against cancer and can cause cancer cells to die naturally – especially colon, breast, stomach and prostate cancer cells.
According to the Iowa Women’s Health Study, women who consumed the highest amounts of garlic had a 50 percent lower risk of colon cancer compared with women who ate the least.
Not only does green tea help aid weight loss, but it can also prevent or slow cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells.
Green Tea contains antioxidants called catechins which can shrink tumours and reduce tumour cell growth.
Catechins also encourage cancer cell death and may even help stop the growth of cancer cells altogether.