It seems to me that we spend most of our attention on bringing awareness to breast cancer — more than we do on how to prevent cancer. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the pink movement, but more as a reminder of the amazing support that is sent to the sisterhood and to my own personal successes as a survivor.
Looking at the world around us, we find contaminates everywhere. It can be in our food, in the containers that hold the food, fumes from burning materials, and more. It’s hard to escape it all.
My husband (helping me write this with his expertise) often has said that many people will develop cancer cells, but they are killed by the immune system. He’ll tell me that our genes can load the gun, but it’s our environment that pulls the trigger. What if we could disarm that gun by the foods we eat? I would certainly be all for it.
The internet is full of information on nutrition and cancer. The following nine foods are the most commonly cited anti-cancer foods.
Berries are high in polyphenol antioxidants. They can inhibit tumor growth.
Full of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and catechins, green tea can help fight cell damage. Green tea is not processed much before you drink it, therefore it is full of the antioxidant catechin.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and collards fall in this category. These veggies are rich in the anti-cancer chemicals diindolylmethane, sulforaphane and the element of selenium.
Dark Green Vegetables
Chard, spinach, and beet greens, as well as vegetables from the cruciferous family mentioned above, are beneficial to our health and cancer prevention. They carry beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are powerful antioxidants.
Many of us love a good piece of chocolate; however, we’re talking about real dark chocolate here, with at least 70% cocoa. Cocoa contains anti-oxidants, polyphenols, and catechins.
You can put just about anything into a smoothie and make it taste good. Include many of the ingredients on this list and you can have one powerful drink.
Ginger and Tumeric
These roots are great anti-inflammatories. They slow cancer growth; in fact, according to some small studies, the curcumin in turmeric can kill cancer cells, and quickly.
Many people who have cancer have been known to be low in Vitamin D. Vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer, but it is not really known why. Foods that do contain Vitamin D often have very small amounts. This is one case where a supplement might be an easier option.
Folic acid has many cancer prevention properties. You can find folic acid in some leafy greens and asparagus.
Angela Banker is a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a sister; she is also a young survivor, a caregiver, a supporter, and a fighter. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, and found herself empowered to share her story to raise awareness about breast cancer. Angela participates in Relay For Life, started the Sisters Beating Breast Cancer page to inspire others, and continues to "fight like a girl" with the hope that her daughter will never have to hear the dreaded words, "You have cancer."