According to a major report released in October by the American Institute for Cancer Research, more than half of the estimated cancer deaths that will occur in the United States this year are related to preventable causes.
Among these, poor dietary habits, obesity and being overweight account for 25 percent of the preventable causes of cancer — second only to smoking.
And while individual nutrients have been found to demonstrate anti-cancer effects in the lab, the evidence suggests that eating multiple anti-cancer nutrients and phytochemicals (beneficial compounds in plants) together as part of a healthful diet seems to have the most protective effect on warding off cancer (as opposed to taking individual supplements).
Of course, stocking up on cancer-fighting foods isn’t always easy or affordable. Thankfully, Thrive Market, a new online shopping club, lets you get get you the best products you’d find at Whole Foods but at Costco prices (minus having to buy items in bulk) delivered right to your front door. Thrive Market is the easiest and most inexpensive way to stock up on all the best foods to keep you cancer-free. When you join, you get a free one-month membership so you have nothing to lose — sign up today and start shopping, saving and thriving!
While no single food can guarantee that you’ll be cancer-free, eating a combination of these foods as part of an overall healthful diet can certainly tip the odds in your favor. Here are five potent foods to include on a regular basis — always at wholesale prices when you shop on Thrive Market.
According to a study in the International Journal of Cancer, women who ate beans or lentils two or more times per week had a 34 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who ate them one or fewer times per month. Beans contain compounds called flavanols which have been shown to ward off various types of cancers. Beans are also a great source of lean protein and fiber (the kind that can help lower cholesterol!)
All berries have a compound called ellagic acid, particularly strawberries and raspberries. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, ellagic acid may help slow the growth of cancer cells by acting as an antioxidant, helping the body fight specific carcinogens. Dried berries deliver the benefits and at half the cost of fresh or frozen berries so dig in now!
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These tree nuts contain phytosterols, plant compounds that may bind to estrogen and stop breast cancer cell growth according to studies done in mice. In one study published in Nutrition and Cancer, mice that ate the equivalent of 2 ounces of walnuts daily had significantly slowed tumor growth compared to mice that didn’t have walnuts. Walnuts are also a great source of the omega 3 fatty acid ALA as well as other plant compounds like polyphenols and vitamin E, which have additional health benefits.
The omega-3 fats in fish such as salmon, mackerel, white tuna, sardines, and herring may help fight breast cancer. Researchers think that the positive effect comes from the omega 3’s ability to lower body inflammation. Over time, inflammation can increase the risk of cancer. Eating about 4-6 ounces of high omega 3 fatty acid fish at least twice per week is recommended to get the most benefits.