As a kid, your parents may have told you that your broccoli was mini trees and to pretend you were a giant eating them. Although, that might not have been a conversation in many households. However, we all know that our parents tried to get us to eat broccoli growing up and would tell us just how important it was to eat it; they were right. These mighty greens are in the cruciferous vegetable family, along with cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, and kale. All healthy vegetables, as well.
Studies show that broccoli and its family members have unique plant compounds that may protect our bodies from stomach cancer, as well as cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, and esophagus. Because broccoli takes on the flavor of whatever spice or sauce you prepare it with, it’s easy to add it to whatever dish you make. If you don’t feel like adding it to a meal, you can have it on the side. Just add your favorite spices to steamed broccoli for a great side dish. A good afternoon snack could be some raw broccoli dipped into some fat-free ranch dressing.
Ever wonder how a tomato gets so red, even though it starts as green? Well, the tomato gets its classic red hue from an antioxidant called lycopene. Some studies have shown that lycopene has the potential even to fight prostate cancer. The evidence is even stronger for processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce and even ketchup. That is a surprise since it has the word “processed” right in the description. So that leads us to ask this next question, how is that possible?
As crazy as it sounds, it’s true. By processing the tomato, it ups its health-boosting power because it releases the lycopene so the body can more easily absorb it. So it is safe to say that you don’t have to just bite into a raw tomato to snack on in the hope of getting its health advantages. Adding some savory tomato sauce to a pasta dish or ketchup to a meal can have some of the same benefits, and maybe even a little bit more.
Do you like lemons, lime, or oranges? Then here is some good news for you! Research suggests that by adding citrus fruits to your diet, you may significantly reduce your risk of esophageal cancer. Another great thing about citrus fruits was that a greater intake of them was linked to a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer. Not only can they help prevent esophageal cancer, but they can also help lower the risk of pancreatic cancer.
That’s not all, either! Another review showed that if you eat at least three servings of citrus fruits a week or more, you reduce stomach cancer risk by 28%. So if you know that you are more at risk of getting these types of cancer, start eating up those citrus fruits. To make sure you are eating enough, you can try putting some lemon slices in your water or tea, dressing up your salad with lime, or trying adding grapefruit to go along with your breakfast. An orange makes for a delicious snack, as well.
7. Carrots aren’t just good for the eyes — add them to your diet to help prevent cancer.
Our parents always told us to eat our vegetables, especially carrots, since they are suitable for our eyes. Furthermore, although they may not help us see in the dark, although that would be pretty amazing, there is suggestive evidence that carrots can help lower the risk of cervical cancer. So if you are a woman who is at higher risk of getting cervical cancer, it may be a good idea to start adding carrots to your daily diet if you have not done so already.
Carrots are high in vitamin A and antioxidants and high in fiber, which can help keep you regular. Keeping regular in the bathroom can help minimize the risk of bowel cancer, as well. To make sure that you are eating enough carrots, there are plenty of ways you can sneak them into your diet. Try eating them as snacks, in a stick form dipped in hummus, or a low-fat dressing or dip. You can also add them to any dish, like broccoli. They go well as a side dish steamed with your favorite seasoning, too.
6. Foods might cause stinky breath, but they help to keep you healthier.
According to research done by the Cancer Council Australia, high levels of allium vegetables, vegetables such as garlic, onions, and shallots reduce stomach cancer risk. They state that garlic just might help protect us against bowel cancer, as well. That’s because not only does garlic add flavor to many of your meals and taste delicious, but it is also anti-carcinogenic. Meaning it has to do with the delaying and prevention of the development of cancer. Take that vampires – we won’t just be eating it to keep you away anymore!
There are plenty of ways to add more garlic into your diet, by making homemade and fresh dishes for your lunches and dinner, rather than store-bought, ready-to-eat meals. Not only is it healthier, but it also makes it easier to add things, such as garlic, into the recipe, without feeling that it’s being forced into it. Meals like oven-baked fish or chicken dishes can be made using plenty of garlic, as well as meals like stir-fries and soups.
There is an antioxidant called lutein that is good for your eyes. Furthermore, although research is by no means confirmed, lutein may also play a role in guarding against cancer. Spinach is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that help remove unstable molecules called free radicals from your body before they damage it. Not only are they found in spinach, but in other dark and leafy vegetables, as well. Some studies show that they could help protect against cancer of the mouth, stomach, and esophagus.
Talk about a nutritional powerhouse in every dark green leaf you eat; they also have folate and fiber, which researchers think might lower the risks of certain cancers too. Folate helps your body repair DNA and produce new cells and is especially important in women of childbearing age because it can even prevent neural tube defects in a developing fetus. To get the most lutein from your spinach, you will want to eat it raw or lightly cooked. Steamed, sautéed, in a salad, or soup are just a few great ways to incorporate it into your diet.
Most of us have probably heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and that is relatively true, believe it or not. Not only are apples quite delicious, but they are very healthy for you, too. Apples contain polyphenols, which are compounds naturally found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and some researchers suggest that polyphenols have promising anticancer and tumor-fighting properties. Polyphenols may also help to prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and infections, as well.
As just one example, the polyphenol phloretin inhibits a protein called glucose transporter 2, or GLUT2, which plays a role in advanced staged cell growth in specific cancer types. A study done in 2018 in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis suggests that apple phloretin significantly inhibits breast cancer cells’ growth while not affecting normal cells. So it is safe to say that if you are at high risk of cancer or any other illness, an apple a day can help keep the doctor away. Plus, apples make a delicious and healthy snack.
3. Dietary supplements won’t help lower the risk of cancer.
Many of us may think that taking dietary supplements will lower the risk of cancer, on top of helping us get other nutrients we may be lacking. However, the marketing claims against cancer have not likely been proven yet, because no proof shows that multivitamins help reduce your risk of cancer. It’s also important to remember to talk with your doctor before adding supplements or herbs to your diet. You could be putting yourself at risk for new health problems when making extreme changes to your diet quickly.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that you do not take vitamin E or beta carotene to help prevent cancer. People who smoke or have a high risk for lung cancer should not take beta carotene at all. That is because it can increase the risk of lung cancer. That is why it is imperative to speak with your doctor about adding any supplements to your daily diet before doing so. So that they can make sure you are making a healthy and safe decision.
While maintaining a healthy weight is very important, participating in physical activity is just as important. Physical activity on its own may even help lower your risk of colon cancer and breast cancer. On top of it helping to reduce your risk of cancer, it is also good for your body and joints to be active. You do not have to have access to the outside to do some physical activities, either. Walking in place or doing squats during a commercial break is better than sitting around on the couch and not moving around at all.
Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, as well. However, it will take more than just walking around the block one time to have any effect. For substantial health benefits, try to get around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week or about 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise in a week. You can also do a combination of both. Try to make a goal for yourself that includes 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. Of course, if you just so happen to do more, then that is even better.
We all know that smoking cigarette can lead to lung cancer, but there are, of course, other cancers that have been linked to the use of tobacco products, as well. Using any type of tobacco, whether it’s smoking or chewing, puts you on a collision course with cancer in the future. The various types of cancer that have been linked to smoking include lung, mouth, through, larynx, bladder, cervix, kidney, and pancreas. Chewing tobacco has been linked to oral cavity cancer and pancreatic cancer. As you know, though, there are obvious ways to prevent these cancers from occurring due to tobacco exposure.
Secondhand smoke is a real thing, too, and even if you do not use any sort of tobacco product yourself, exposure to secondhand smoke may increase your risk of lung cancer, as well. It is safe to say that if you smoke, quitting is something you should take into consideration. Talk with your doctor about options on how to stop. Not only will it help your help out, but it will also help you to be able to taste things better. If you’re not eating healthy and are a cigarette smoker, it may be because the tobacco is ruining your taste buds. Do you want to learn more about immune-boosting foods you can add to your diet? It’s important to understand how diets can make you feel strong, healthy, and happy!