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How to Eat to Prevent Cancer

You don't need supplements to prevent cancer — look to the food you eat every day to pack in all the healthy nutrients you need.


  • Step 1: Pick some blackberries Pick up some blackberries; they contain twice the antioxidant content of blueberries. Strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are cancer-fighters, too.
  • Step 2: Spice up your life Curry lovers, rejoice! Turmeric, the spice that gives the popular Indian dish its yellow hue, inhibits the development of cancer. Ginger runs a close second, followed by cinnamon.
  • Step 3: Eat your broccoli Eat your broccoli. It contains isothiocyanate, a compound that fights several cancers. While Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and arugula also have ITCs, broccoli is king because it has a particularly potent kind called sulforaphane.
  • TIP: Broccoli sprouts have the highest concentration of sulforaphane.
  • Step 4: Eat & drink your greens Munch on watercress and drink green tea. Both increase the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants in your blood, and watercress protects your DNA from changes that can trigger cancer.
  • Step 5: Enjoy asparagus Enjoy a bunch of asparagus; it contains the B vitamin folate, which may reduce the risk of several cancers. Other good sources of folate are orange juice, lentils, spinach, peanuts, and broccoli.
  • Step 6: Go nuts Go nuts — as long as they're Brazil nuts. They contain selenium, which fights cancer cells. Go for the unshelled ones, which have more selenium. But limit yourself to one large or two small freshly-shelled nuts per day, as too much selenium is toxic.
  • TIP: Macadamia nuts contain almost as much selenium as Brazil nuts.
  • Step 7: Order the fish Eat fish a few of times a week. An Italian study found that people who eat fish twice a week reduce their risk of developing several cancers by 30% to 50%. Go with Omega-3-rich fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna.
  • Step 8: Reek of garlic Indulge in garlicky foods. Fans of this pungent bulb have a lower risk of stomach and colon cancer because cooked garlic inhibits cancer cells from growing.
  • Step 9: Don't fear fungus Consume more Asian mushrooms -- in lab tests, shitakes repressed cancer cell growth. Also try maitake, zhu ling, enoki, and red reishi mushrooms.
  • Step 10: Eat an apple a day An apple a day may keep the oncologist away. Studies have found that when pulverized apple skins were placed in a petri dish with colon cancer cells, the cells' growth was inhibited by an impressive 43%. So don't peel before eating!
  • Step 11: Fill up on flax Incorporate flaxseed into your diet. In a Canadian study, women diagnosed with breast cancer who ate a daily flaxseed muffin for 40 days showed a statistically significant reduction in the size of their tumor compared with a control group.
  • FACT: The lowest rates of cancer in the world are in the Japanese regions Uji and Shizuoka, where most of that country's green tea is harvested. People in those areas drink more high quality green tea per capita than residents of any other area of Japan.

You Will Need

  • Berries
  • Spices
  • Sources of isothiocyanate
  • Watercress
  • Green tea
  • Sources of folate
  • Brazil nuts
  • Omega-3-rich fish
  • Garlic
  • Asian mushrooms
  • Apples
  • Flaxseed
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Macadamia nuts

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