Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. In fact it is responsible for 30% of all total deaths in the country. It is estimated that 2 out of 5 Canadians are expected to develop some form of cancer in their lifetimes, and 1 out of 4 of those diagnosed will die from it.
With those grim figures in mind it is no surprise that most Canadians are on the constant look-out for ways to protect themselves from the disease. Perhaps the best defense however is quite simply to live healthy, active lives, and there’s no better place to start than your diet. Although not a magical cure for cancer, certain food items have cancer fighting properties. Including these in your diet, coupled with regular exercise, are sure fire ways to decrease your risk of cancer.
A predominantly plant-based diet is ideal for warding off cancer. Meals should contain at least 2/3rd plant type foods. Amongst other health benefits, this ensures a diet low in saturated fats.
Folate rich foods
There is correlation between levels of folate in the body and the chances of DNA mutation. Eating folate rich foods such as cereals, oranges and spinach may decrease your risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 50%.
- Romaine leaves
- Dried beans
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin D has been known to cut the risks of breast cancer by half. It works by curbing the growth of cancerous cells in the body. It is recommended that an adult should receive a minimum daily dose of 1000 IU of vitamin D.
- Chinook salmon
Teas contain antioxidants called flavonoids. Once such flavonoid called kaempferol has been shown to work well against cancer. Women in a study who increased their kaempferol intake showed a lower rate of ovarian cancer, and post-menopausal women had a decrease risk of breast cancer.
- Various types of teas
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage and Brussel sprouts have all been shown to help with prevention of prostate and colon cancer. It is important to note however that studies have shown that these health benefits are activated only by chewing or cutting the vegetables.
- Turnip greens
- Brussel sprouts
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties is its essential trait for fighting cancer. Recent studies have shown that curcumin supresses the transformation and invasion of cancer cells, by disrupting cell-signalling pathways in the body. Its benefits have been shown to be effective against bladder and gastrointestinal cancer.
- Curry powder