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Five healthy foods that are proven to lower risk of cancer – how to maintain a balanced diet – The Mirror

3 minutes, 46 seconds Read

It is impossible to completely prevent getting cancer but there are certain lifestyle changes and diets we can follow that may lower the risk.

Eating a balanced diet is important for overall health. However, eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may help you live a long and healthy life – including the ones listed below. Besides eating the right foods, staying active, maintaining a good weight can also help you reduce your risk of cancer, reports Gloucestershire Live. According to various studies, berries, grapes, broccoli, tomatoes and whole grains possess cancer-fighting properties.

1. Berries

Blueberries

Blueberries
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Blackberries, blueberries strawberries and the majority of other berries are packed full of antioxidants. Studies show these antioxidants can help your body protect itself from cell damage that could lead to various types of cancer. Blueberries are among the most powerful sources of antioxidants. They contain a cancer fighting chemical called anthocyanosides.

According to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, anthocyanosides are one of the most potent antioxidants. They have been found to have a number of anticancer properties including radical scavenging activity, stimulation of phase II detoxifying enzymes, and reduced cell proliferation and inflammation.

Blackberries are another great source of anthocyanosides. Strawberries are also good sources of antioxidants and folic acid, and are excellent sources of Vitamin C, which has shown to decrease risk for oesophageal cancer.

2. Grapes

Red grapes

Red grapes are also rich in antioxidant resveratrol
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Red grapes are also rich in antioxidant resveratrol. Studies show that resveratrol has the potential to possibly stop cancer from starting in the breast, liver, stomach and lymphatic system. According to new research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, red grape juice is more effective in smaller doses at preventing bowel cancer in mice than high doses. A 2023 study also suggests resveratrol has been shown to have anticancer activity, making it a promising drug for the treatment and prevention of numerous cancers.

However, Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK’s head of health information, pointed out: “This research doesn’t mean that having a glass of red wine will reduce your risk of cancer because you can’t separate the resveratrol from the alcohol. And the increase in cancer risk linked to alcohol outweighs any possible benefits of the resveratrol.”

3. Broccoli

Broccoli on a fork

Broccoli
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Studies show that broccoli and its family members have special plant compounds that may protect the body from stomach cancer. Research also suggests it may reduce your risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus. Sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts, kills the bacterium known to cause ulcers and stomach cancer, according to laboratory research from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the French National Scientific Research Center.

A 2019 study also determined that consuming raw cruciferous vegetables may be associated with a lower odds of stomach cancer, even after considering other dietary characteristics. Some case-control studies have also found that people who ate greater amounts of cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of prostate cancer.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Ripe red cherry tomatoes
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Tomatoes get their bright red colour from an antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show that lycopene has the potential to fight prostate cancer. Some evidence even shows it is stronger in processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce. Lycopene also has also been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory agent which is able to suppress the progression of carcinogenesis. Research has shown that the presence of lycopene has an inhibitory effect on factors such as cell invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis, which are all key activities in the development of cancer.

5. Whole grains

Wholegrains

Having a diet high in fibre may lower your cancer risk
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Whole grains are loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. Together they may lower your cancer risk. According to Cancer Research UK, having a diet high in fibre, and wholegrains in particular, can help to reduce your risk of cancer. A 2020 study stated: “Meta-analyses consistently show that whole grain consumption is associated with lower risk of total cancer mortality. Risk reductions for the highest intakes of whole grains ranged between 5% and 12%. In dose-response analyses, each 30 g/day intake of whole grains was associated with a 7% lower risk of cancer mortality.”

And according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), there is strong evidence that eating at least three servings of whole-grain foods per day decreases the risk of colorectal cancer. For more fibre and wholegrains try switching everyday foods such as bread, pasta or rice to their wholegrain or brown alternative.

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