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Cancer Health Center

Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

Mounting evidence shows that the foods we eat weigh heavily in the war against cancer.
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Tea continued...

A separate study showed a link between consuming flavonoids and reducing the risk of breast cancer. The study, analyzing the lifestyle habits of nearly 3,000 people, showed that postmenopausal women who got the most flavonoids were 46% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who got the least. However, flavonoid consumption had no effect on breast cancer risk among premenopausal women.

How to Get It

Hot tea can be warming in the winter; ice tea offers cool refreshment in the summer. So enjoy tea year-round to boost cancer prevention.

Cruciferous Vegetables

They may not have been your favorite as a kid, but cruciferous vegetables -- members of the cabbage family that include kale, turnip greens, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts -- can help you ward off cancer.

How They Work

In lab experiments, substances released during either cutting or chewing cruciferous vegetables produced a cancer-killing effect.

Cancer-Fighting Abilities

Recent studies on cruciferous vegetables show promising results against prostate and colon cancers. In mice grafted with human prostate tumors and then treated with one of these cancer-killing substances, tumors began to shrink to half their size after 31 days. In another experiment, mice engineered to be a model for an inherited colon polyp condition that is at high risk for developing into colon cancer were fed the antioxidant called sulforaphane, also released when chewing cruciferous vegetables. The mice developed about half as many polyps as expected.

How to Get Them

Swallowing them whole won't do. The protective effect of cruciferous vegetables seems to occur when they are cut or chewed. They're great in stir fry, as side dishes, or tossed into salads raw. Experiment with flavors like lemon or garlic. "Vegetables can be a fabulous-tasting centerpiece of cuisine," says Collins.

Curcumin

By sprinkling curcumin into your favorite dishes, you could be adding much more than a little zest to your meal -- you could add years to your life.

How It Works

Experts credit curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects for its ability to fight cancer. "Most diseases are caused by chronic inflammation that persists over long periods of time," says Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, a biochemist at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Recent studies have shown curcumin to interfere with cell-signaling pathways, thereby suppressing the transformation, proliferation, and invasion of cancerous cells.

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