Other Vitamins and Minerals
- Folic Acid. Some studies suggest that folic acid may play a role in the fight against cancer. More studies are needed. It is already known to be essential in forming new cells and tissues as well as keeping red blood cells healthy. The most common sources of folic acid are citrus fruits and dark, green leafy vegetables, especially spinach. While there seems to be some potential benefit in consuming foods with folic acid as part of a regular healthy diet, studies do not show any anti-cancer benefit from taking folic acid supplements. In fact, some studies suggest that taking folic acid supplements may slightly increase the risk of cancer.
- Calcium and Vitamin D. Some recent studies have suggested that these two substances may not only strengthen bones, but may also fight off colon, breast, and prostate cancers although other studies have not confirmed this; more research is needed. Good sources of calcium include: Milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon (with bones), sardines, and dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, mustard, and collard greens. Sources of Vitamin D include salmon, sardines, fortified cow's milk, egg yolks, and chicken livers.
Fiber to Improve Overall Health
Fiber is thought to be a powerful weapon against cancer. Though there is conflicting research as to whether or not fiber has protective effects against colorectal cancer, there is evidence that fiber intake improves overall health by moving wastes through the digestive tract faster. This may give potentially toxic waste less time to come into contact with intestinal cells.
It is also believed that some types of fiber help detoxify potential cancer-causing substances as well as prevent these substances from being absorbed by the cells of the intestines. Good sources of fibers include: whole-grain cereals and breads, prunes, berries, kidney beans and other legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and brown rice. Fiber supplements can also help meet fiber needs if you aren’t getting enough through the foods you eat. Examples include psyllium and methylcellulose. Increase the amount of fiber you get from foods or supplements slowly to prevent prevent gas and cramping. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids.