Typically, when I speak to patients who are concerned about their cancer risk, they are already focusing on eating as many berries, other fruits, and fresh veggies as they possibly can… to get powerful antioxidants and nutrients into their bodies.
That’s absolutely great… but there is new evidence recently released in studies over the past few months that suggest that there are other foods that can reduce your cancer risk and help decrease mortality as well.
What are they?
Here is a list of foods and nutrients recently shown to reduce cancer risk:
1. Green Tea — published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Nov 6, 2013, green tea was shown to be effective at preventing GI, lung, prostate, breast and skin cancers.
2. Garlic — found to reduce cancer incidence when consumed routinely and found to suppress colorectal tumor progression after high dose supplements were taken.
3. Magnesium — found in coffee, tea, and dark leafy greens, the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition reports that magnesium reduces colon cancer incidence.
4. Vitamin B6 — shown in a recent 2013 study to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancers as well… found in potatoes, banana, fish, chicken, beans and nuts.
5. Fish, Fish Oil and Omega 3 & 6 supplements — a study recently published in Cancer Prevention Research showed that fish oil reduced the recurrence of prostate cancer due to it’s amazing anti-inflammatory effects.
6. Vit D — shown to reduce risk of colorectal cancer definitively, and possibly breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers as well… found in fish, eggs, oysters… as well as created naturally by the body from sunlight… and available as a supplement.
7. Nuts — the New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of a study on nut consumption decreasing over all mortality (Nov 2013.) Participants who consumed nuts once a week (or more) were found to have a significantly reduced mortality rate, while participants who consumed nuts less than once a week had a higher death rate.
Almost as important as choosing to consume these cancer fighting foods is the elimination of these:
1. Burned, charred foods — foods that were charred or burnt have long been shown to increase cancer risk.
2. Soy — estrogens and phytoestrogens (like the ones found in processed soy products) have shown mixed results in studies… having been found to have tumor promoting properties in some. The general consensus is it might be wise to skip the soy until more studies are conducted.
3. Sugar — sugar is inflammatory (click here for my blog post where cardiologist Dr. Sinatra discusses this further) and fans the fire of inflammation throughout the body, as well as dampening the body’s natural immune response and increasing disease progression.
What foods can support a cancer patient as they undergo treatment and head into recovery?
Cancer treatments are well-known for their side effects such as nausea and severe constipation.
Highly nutritive and supportive foods should be consumed routinely even when hunger isn’t present (unless nearing an end-of-life situation) because the natural appetite level of the cancer patient is generally not an accurate reflection of their body’s nutritional needs.
Best cancer recovery foods include:
1. Herbal teas and mineral dense broths
2. Fresh fruit and veggie smoothies
3. Ginger to help curb nausea
4. New trend: fasting immediately before, during and after chemotherapy. So far, there is only anecdotal evidence to suggest that fasting (consuming only water) just prior to, during, and immediately after chemo may increase the effectiveness of the therapy. Further studies are underway and I will keep you posted…
But even more important than the foods cancer patients eat
is this one predictor of positive outcome: WALKING.
Nutrition is important… foods absolutely impact the outcome in disease progression, and that includes cancer.
There are many foods you can choose to decrease your cancer risk besides just pounding fruits and veggies… those things include fish, nuts, garlic and green tea alongside fish oil, Vit B6 and magnesium supplements.
I started writing this article to provide this awareness because there have been lots of studies in 2013 that have shown foods other than berries and leafy greens that fight cancer.
My daughter personally does not care for fruits and vegetables and it turns out… she doesn’t have to.
Nature provides us with many many ways to support our vibrant health, and those things include spices, nuts, fish and healthy oils.
So consume the nutrient dense foods that appeal to you and decrease your cancer risk at the same time.
What foods would you add to this list? Share them in the comments below!
Much love… xoxoxo, Laura