fruits can help cure cancer? Fruits that can cure cancer could be the natural support you’ve been looking for to fight cancer. Let’s look at which fruits can cure cancer, and how you can use them. . Fortunately there are many fruits that can help prevent cancer, and even treat cancer — some of which may surprise you. Here’s the list of fruits you should be eating if you want to fight off the cancer beast.
Top Cancer-Fighting Foods
Fighting Cancer by the Plateful
No single food can prevent cancer, but the right combination of foods may help make a difference. At mealtimes, strike a balance of at least two-thirds plant-based foods and no more than one-third animal protein. This “New American Plate” is an important cancer fighting tool, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Check out better and worse choices for your plate.
Fighting Cancer With Color
Fruits and vegetables are rich in cancer-fighting nutrients — and the more color, the more nutrients they contain. These foods can help lower your risk in a second way, too, when they help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Carrying extra pounds increases the risk for multiple cancers, including colon, esophagus, and kidney cancers. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark green, red, and orange vegetables.
The Cancer-Fighting Breakfast
Naturally occurring folate is an important B vitamin that may help protect against cancers of the colon, rectum, and breast. You can find it in abundance on the breakfast table. Fortified breakfast cereals and whole wheat products are good sources of folate. So are orange juice, melons, and strawberries.
More Folate-Rich Foods
Other good sources of folate are asparagus and eggs. You can also find it in beans, sunflower seeds, and leafy green vegetables like spinach or romaine lettuce. The best way to get folate is not from a pill, but by eating enough fruits, vegetables, and enriched grain products. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should take a supplement to make sure they get enough folic acid to help prevent certain birth defects.
Pass Up the Deli Counter
An occasional Reuben sandwich or hot dog at the ballpark isn’t going to hurt you. But cutting back on processed meats like bologna, ham, and hot dogs will help lower your risk of colorectal and stomach cancers. Also, eating meats that have been preserved by smoking or with salt raises your exposure to chemicals that can potentially cause cancer.
Whether it’s the lycopene — the pigment that gives tomatoes their red color — or something else isn’t clear. But some studies have linked eating tomatoes to reduced risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Studies also suggest that processed tomato products such as juice, sauce, or paste increase the cancer-fighting potential.
Tea’s Anticancer Potential
Even though the evidence is still spotty, tea, especially green tea, may be a strong cancer fighter. In laboratory studies, green tea has slowed or prevented the development of cancer in colon, liver, breast, and prostate cells. It also had a similar effect in lung tissue and skin. And in some longer term studies, tea was associated with lower risks for bladder, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. But more research in humans is needed before tea can be recommended as a cancer fighter.
Grapes and Cancer
Grapes and grape juice, especially purple and red grapes, contain resveratrol. Resveratrol has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In laboratory studies, it has prevented the kind of damage that can trigger the cancer process in cells. There is not enough evidence to say that eating grapes or drinking grape juice or wine (or taking supplements) can prevent or treat cancer.
Limit Alcohol to Lower Cancer Risk
Cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, and breast are all linked with drinking alcohol. Alcohol may also raise the risk for cancer of the colon and rectum. The American Cancer Society recommends against drinking alcohol, but if you do, limit alcohol to no more than two drinks per day if you are a man and one drink a day if you are a woman. Women at higher risk for breast cancer may want to talk with a doctor about what amount of alcohol, if any, is safe based on their personal risk factors.
Water and Other Fluids Can Protect
Water not only quenches your thirst, but it may protect you against bladder cancer. The lower risk comes from water diluting concentrations of potential cancer-causing agents in the bladder. Also, drinking more fluids causes you to urinate more frequently. That lessens the amount of time those agents stay in contact with the bladder lining.
36 foods that may help lower your cancer risk
Looking for a list of cancer-fighting foods to add to your grocery list? Our expert says you can reduce – but not eliminate – your cancer risk by focusing on plants and making healthy food choices.
Is there such a thing as a cancer-fighting food? Can certain foods prevent cancer?
Unfortunately, the answer is “no.” There is no food that can stop cancer in its tracks or bring your risk of developing cancer to zero. Eating healthy food can reduce your risk, but it won’t eliminate it.
“There are many different causes for cancer,” says Lindsey Wohlford, wellness dietitian. “Research tells us that making healthy food choices consistently over time can reduce your risk of getting cancer, but you can’t say with absolute certainty that food can prevent cancer. There are no guarantees.”
Wohlford’s advice for reducing cancer risk through food:
- Focus on plants (veggies, whole grains, nuts, fruit and plant-based protein)
- Make choices that will help you manage your weight.
- Avoid foods that are known to increase cancer risk.
When you see a list of “cancer-fighting foods”, they are often plant foods loaded with phytochemicals, also called phytonutrients. Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer.
The list is usually topped with berries, broccoli, tomatoes, walnuts, grapes and other vegetables, fruits and nuts.
“If you look at the typical foods that reduce cancer risk, it’s pretty much all plant foods that contain phytochemicals,” says Wohlford.
But she cautions shoppers not to focus on a specific list of “cancer-fighting” foods to the exclusion of other healthy foods in the produce section.
“Keep in mind that there are more than 4,000 phytochemicals that have been discovered and researched,” she says. “There’s not any one super-food that contains all of them. They all offer different functions and benefits.”
A good way to add variety to your cancer-fighting food list is to make sure you include a variety of colors. You can get the most protection by eating a wide variety of plant foods.
Make a healthy food list to help you manage your weight
Eating too much of anything can increase body fat, which increases your cancer risk. Obesity is linked to 12 types of cancer.
“Foods that are lower in calories and sugar and higher in fiber can help you manage your weight. All those things reduce the number of calories you consume,” says Wohlford. “Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your cancer risk.”
Before you head to the grocery store, keep these tips in mind. They can help you simplify your list and make healthier choices when you get to the store.
Keep your menu simple. You don’t need a complicated list of ingredients to make a healthy, tasty meal.
- Don’t be afraid of frozen vegetables and fruit (not in sauce or juice).
- Choose whole grains. Fiber is important for blood sugar control and weight management
- Choose foods that fight inflammation. That includes fatty fish like salmon and sardines, whole grains like brown rice and probiotics like yogurt and kombucha
One more tip: Shop the outer edges of the store. The perimeter of the store has less processed foods.
“While there are some foods that are great down the aisles, as a general rule, the whole foods are around the perimeter of the store,” says Wohlford.
If you are going to buy something in a package, read the nutrition label first. If the item has more than two or three ingredients, think about a different choice. The nutrition label will also give you valuable information about the salt and sugar in the food you are considering.
Foods that can increase your cancer risk
Just as there are foods that can reduce your cancer risk, there are foods that can increase it. Make it a point to steer clear of these foods when you go shopping.
- Avoid processed meat. Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and any meat you find at the deli counter, have compounds that cause cancer. Even processed meats that say they are “nitrate free” or “uncured” should be avoided.
- Limit red meat. Aim for no more than 18 ounces of cooked red meat per week. Instead, choose lean chicken, fish or plant-based protein.
- Avoid alcohol. Women should have no more than one serving of alcohol per day. Men should have no more than two servings of alcohol per day. Less is better.
One final tip: Before you head to the store, plan to fill two-thirds of every plate with vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
You won’t eliminate your cancer risk by eating certain foods. But if you focus on eating a plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy weight, you will go a long way in reducing your risk.
A plant-based diet can help lower your cancer risk
AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer™ and Foods to Steer Clear Of, Explained
AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer™
No single food can protect you against cancer by itself.
But research shows that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps lower risk for many cancers. In laboratory studies, many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects.
Foods to Limit
A lot of us grow up eating foods that might be okay to eat, but aren’t necessarily the best thing to eat. As you build your meal plans, make sure you’re not overdoing it with foods that are best to have in small portions.
There are a lot of popular diets that come with all sorts of promises. And while some of what they offer might be worthwhile, often, beliefs can masquerade as facts, and it can be hard to separate evidence from opinion. Below, our expert dietitians weigh in on some well-known trends.
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Cancer Diet: Foods to Add and Avoid During Cancer Treatment
Cancer can affect every aspect of your health, including your appetite and diet. Selvi Rajagopal, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains why your diet is so important during cancer treatment, and provides tips on foods to add and avoid.
How does cancer treatment affect your diet?
Treatments such as chemotherapy and some forms of radiation therapy can cause a variety of side effects, including:
- Constipation, which can cause discomfort and further reduce your desire to eat
- Diarrhea, which can drain your body of nutrients
- Fatigue, which means you’re less active, so you burn fewer calories and don’t feel as hungry throughout the day
- Loss of taste, which can make food unappealing
- Nausea and vomiting, which might reduce your appetite and cause weight loss
“Sometimes it also depends on the specific type of cancer you have,” explains Rajagopal. “Treatment for breast cancer and blood cancers often involve steroids. Steroids can actually increase your appetite and increase your blood sugar levels, which might lead to insulin resistance and weight gain. So instead of losing weight, it’s possible to gain quite a bit of weight from the combination of medications and a more sedentary lifestyle during cancer treatment.”
Some people also have hormone therapy after chemotherapy for breast cancer or endometrial cancer. The drugs suppress production of estrogen, a hormone that plays an important role in metabolism. If your metabolism slows down, you may put on weight.
People with pancreatic cancer often find it difficult to maintain their weight. Since the pancreas isn’t functioning the way it should, they may not be able to digest food normally. This can lead to weight loss or malnourishment.
Why is your diet important during cancer treatment?
Since cancer treatment can lead to fluctuations in appetite and body weight, it’s important to pay close attention to your diet. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet during chemotherapy or radiation therapy can:
- Help manage treatment side effects
- Increase energy
- Increase muscle tone
- Preserve immune function
- Reduce inflammation
What foods should you add to your diet during cancer treatment?
“Anyone with a chronic illness, even if it’s not cancer, should eat foods high in protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and vitamins and minerals,” Rajagopal emphasizes. “If possible, make these dietary adjustments before cancer treatment begins so you’ll be healthier going into treatment.
Some of the best foods to eat during chemotherapy or other cancer treatments are plant-based proteins. They offer the highest levels of vitamins and minerals, Rajagopal says. This means eating lots of vegetables as well as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. If you do eat animal proteins, choose lean options like chicken or fish.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats also have health benefits. Avocados, olive oil, grapeseed oil and walnuts are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help combat inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.
When choosing carbohydrates, opt for foods that are minimally processed, like whole wheat, bran and oats. These have soluble fiber, which helps maintain good gut bacteria. Soluble fiber also promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which lend a hand to everything from metabolism to cellular repair.
Vitamins and Minerals
“Vitamins and minerals help our bodies’ enzymatic processes, which play a big role in boosting immune function and reducing inflammation,” Rajagopal says. When possible, select foods fortified with vitamin D. These may include milk, orange juice, yogurt and some cereals.
Should you take supplements during cancer treatment?
If you’re not eating as much as usual during treatment, or if you have side effects like vomiting and diarrhea that cause you to lose vitamins and nutrients, you might consider taking a multivitamin.
“Vitamin D tends to be the most common vitamin deficiency,” says Rajagopal. “Vitamin D helps keep your immune system strong, reduces fatigue and supports bone health. Especially if you’re on steroids, you’ll be at risk for bone density loss.”
Talk to a registered dietitian and your oncologist before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet.
How can your diet help manage cancer treatment side effects?
Some dietary changes can help you manage side effects after your treatment begins. These side effects include:
- Appetite loss. Eat small meals or nutritious snacks throughout the day, rather than three large meals.
- Constipation. Drink plenty of water, consider a fiber supplement, and add veggies and beans to your meals.
- Diarrhea. Choose foods or drinks with sodium (sports drinks or broth) and potassium (bananas and all natural fruit juices).
- Loss of taste. Knowing what to eat when you can’t taste can be difficult. Consider trying new foods with different spices or marinades. You can also add strong flavors, such as lemon or lime juice.
- Nausea. Anti-nausea foods include citrus, ginger and peppermint oil. You can suck on a slice of lemon, drink ginger tea or eat ginger chews.
What foods should you avoid during cancer treatment?
Be aware of what’s going into your body during cancer treatment. Read nutrition labels and prepare as much of your own food as you can. It’s best to stay away from highly refined, processed food. You should also avoid fried foods that contain a lot of hydrogenated oils, which can increase inflammation.
Since people with cancer often have compromised immune systems, consider skipping foods that carry the risk of foodborne illnesses, including:
- Lightly cooked or raw fish, such as sushi
- Soft-cooked eggs or foods that contain raw eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise
- Unpasteurized cheeses and dairy products
- Unwashed fruits or vegetables
Planning your cancer treatment diet
Registered dietitians have specialized training in the nutritional needs of people with specific diseases. Your dietitian can help you plan meals that give you the right number of calories and nutrients.
“It’s also important to build an eating plan that’s practical for you,” says Rajagopal. If you’re busy in the evenings and don’t have the time or energy to cook, try to select healthy takeout options. If you’re on a budget, adding inexpensive, nutritious foods like beans or frozen fruit or vegetables to simple meals can go a long way.