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Cancer Health Center

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Seven (Easy to Find) Foods That May Help Prevent Cancer

Reach for these super foods to supercharge your odds of staying ahead of cancer and maximizing your health.

Antioxidants, Phytochemicals, and Cancer continued...

And weight matters too. Keep the scale at a healthy number and shed some pounds if needed. "Everybody knows overweight and obesity are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes," says Arthur Schatzkin, MD, DrPH, chief of the nutritional epidemiology branch and senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute. "It's now clear [both are] a major risk factor for breast cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer -- a lot of them."

So what foods should you load up on to give your body the best chance of steering clear of cancer? WebMD scrutinized research, sometimes conflicting, to tease out some foods you'll want to eat plenty of, starting right now.

Garlic: Stinky Breath, but Super Healthy

Whoever thought garlic breath would be good for you? The same sulfur compounds causing that odor may also stop cancer-causing substances from forming in your body, speed DNA repair, and kill cancer cells.

Want more? Garlic battles bacteria, including H. pylori (the one connected to some ulcers and stomach cancer), and it reduces the risk of colon cancer.

To get the most benefit, peel and chop the cloves and let them sit 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. That activates enzymes and releases the sulfur-containing compounds that have the most protective effect, says Doyle. And stick with the cloves, not the dietary supplement. "There is no solid evidence that dietary supplements are going to reduce your cancer risk," Schatzkin says.

Garlic is the powerhouse of the allium family, but onions, leeks, chives, and scallions might also protect against stomach cancer, some research suggests.

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