The anti-cancer diet. 

The proverbial saying “You are what you eat” is the notion that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food.

Recognizing and adopting healthy and balanced eating patterns and foods is one of the first steps to ensuring you maintain good health and keep cancer away. The other is eating foods that you know can help prevent and fight your risks of getting certain diseases, such as cancer.

Cancer is a leading cause of death among adults. Cancer is one of the major health problems and it is causing 1/8 deaths worldwide. It is estimated that about 25% of Americans will have cancer in their lifetimes.

Cancer is caused by many factors. However, research has shown that making sure you include certain foods (and avoid the most harmful products) regularly in your diet can go a long way towards preventing it from developing.

The naturally occurring chemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibers in many different foods can help your body fight the growth of cancer cells. Here are 25 of them.

25 Foods That Fight Cancer


Love a bunch these little green trees, especially lightly steamed or raw. Broccoli contains sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. These are both phytochemicals that can work with the enzymes in your body to fight cancer. Broccoli is also an excellent source of Vitamins C and K.


Spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable full of all kinds of goodies. Its cancer-fighting properties are said to be lutein and zeaxanthin. You will get the best benefits from it raw in salads, but you can also cook it and add it to soups – and do not forget the garlic!


This curly leafy green veggie, from the cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprout family but without a head, is a good source of organosulfur compounds thought to help reduce the risk of cancer. Kale is also high in Vitamins K, A, C, B5, folate, and manganese.

Manganese is an essential nutrient involved in many chemical processes in the body, including the processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates, and protein. It might also be involved in bone formation.


You can eat tomatoes in salads, make soup, sauces and many other dishes. Stay well away from eating the stems and leaves, but the flesh is also a moderate source of Vitamin C. Some studies suggest lycopene, an oxidant in tomatoes, which has anti-cancer properties.


Use garlic liberally in your cooking whether you crush it, grate it, or roast it. It is thought the sulfur compounds in garlic can help with reducing the risk of developing a few different types of cancer. Garlic is also a good source of Vitamins B6 and the mineral manganese.


Juice ruby red babies, roast them, boil them, stem them, and make red soup and salads. Both the bulbs and leaves of beets are edible and full of good stuff. In the bulb, it is the pigment that gives beetroot its color, betacyanin, which is thought to have anti-cancer properties.


This yellow-orange found in many curries contains curcumin, thought to have anticancer effects on precancerous cells in a few different types of cancer. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help with other conditions.

Legumes and Pulses

Dried kidney and black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and split peas contain lignans and saponins that may protect against cancer. They are all also excellent sources of protein and fiber. Soak and rinse them before cooking, and enjoy the benefits.

Pumpkin and Squash

The carotenoids in various types of pumpkin and squash include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All good antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Pumpkins and squash are also high in Vitamins A and C.


Mushrooms of certain varieties are thought to have anti-cancer and antiviral properties. These include Asian reishi, maitake, Agaricus blazei muril, and Turkey tail varieties. Even though you may not be able to pick these up in your local supermarket, common types of mushrooms are high in selenium and Vitamin D.


The humble onion is thought to have many anti-cancer compounds. These include organosulfur compounds, quercetin and anthocyanins thought to lower the risk of many types of cancer. Different varieties such as spring onions, shallots, brown/yellow and red onions have different strengths.

Chili pepper

A new study finds that capsaicin, the pungent compound in chili peppers, can successfully stop lung cancer metastasis.

According to the American Cancer Societylung cancer is “by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women” in the United States.

The Society also estimates that 228,150 people will develop lung cancer and 142,670 people will die from the condition in 2019.

Most deaths occur as a result of cancer metastasizing, or spreading, to distant parts of the body.

New research suggests that there may be a nutritional compound that can hinder this process of metastasis. Capsaicin, which is the chemical compound that gives chili peppers their pungent flavor, stopped lung cancer metastasis in rodents and cultured human cell lines.



Good news for summer strawberry lovers, strawberries contain the phytochemicals that are considered to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a great sauce of Vitamin C and manganese.


Both black raspberries and red raspberries contain proanthocyanidin, thought to be an inhibitor of cancer and tumor growth. They are also a rich source of Vitamin C and Manganese. Enjoy fresh raspberries, add them to your cereals, combine them with lemons for homemade lemonade, or drink raspberry tea.


The phytochemicals in blueberries are called anthocyanins. Add them to your smoothies, or breakfast dishes, these wee berries are among the highest with antioxidant properties. They are also good sources of Vitamins C and K and manganese.


Flaxseeds, aka linseed, contains high levels of lignin, an antioxidant, and phytonutrient, which is said to help prevent cancer.

Just a tablespoon of these little seeds ground and added to any number of dishes has health benefits due to their levels of protein, B Vitamins, and minerals.

Just don’t ever try to heat flaxseeds, otherwise, they produce a huge amount of carcinogens and become extremely unhealthy.

Green Tea (unsweetened)

Green tea contains polyphenols, which are thought to help with preventing cancer cell growth. The dried leaves from this plant, Camellia sinensis, are also thought to boost immune systems, eliminate toxins, and improve overall health. Green tea does contain caffeine, so be cautious of drinking too much.

Coffee (unsweetened)

Yes, good news for coffee aficionados! Good quality coffee beans ground and prepared properly are a concentrated source of phytochemicals. Coffee also contains riboflavin, one of the B vitamins. All the more reason to relish that coffee break and love your daily latte!


For the best benefits of the anti-cancer phytochemicals in apples, eat their peel (but not their seeds). Apples also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are good sources of Vitamin C and fiber.


Lemons and other citrus fruits contain the phytochemicals d-limonene and terpenes, thought to help halt the growth of cancer cells. Juice them and use the peel for added nutritional benefits. They are also rich in Vitamin C.


Grapefruit fights cancer and obesity.

Acidity. Although grapefruit has a very sour taste, its juice has an alkaline reaction during digestion. It helps to neutralize the acidity of the digestive system, which causes a number of health problems, including inflammation which causes cancer by several mechanisms including the production of free radicals by inflammatory cells.

Grapefruit fights breast cancer

Bioflavonoids found in grapefruit stop the growth of cancer cells in patients with breast cancer, saving the body from excess estrogen.


Cancer of the stomach and pancreas. There are a lot of anticancer compounds in grapefruit (especially in albedo), they effectively protect the digestive system from cancer.

But don’t forget, this fruit should be eaten only in a moderate quantity and preferably on an empty stomach. Excessive consumption of any citrus juice can lead to the release of calcium from the body, causing the breakdown of bones and teeth.


There are also a few common herbs that contain compounds that are thought to help with inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Spice up your life with peppermint, basil, thyme, and rosemary in your cooking. Most are easy to grow fresh in small pots and add to your culinary creations!


Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an Omega-3 fat and high amount of many antioxidant polyphenols and phytochemicals thought to help prevent cancer. They are also high in copper and manganese. Pecans, brazil nuts, and almonds are also thought to be good to include in an anti-cancer diet. Go nuts!


Graviola comes from a tree in the rain forests of Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. It is a common food there.

Graviola cancer research has recently become very significant, as new studies being conducted make the claim that Graviola for cancer can effectively stop the growth of tumors related to pancreatic cancer, and may also be effective in treating breast cancer.

Graviola is more commonly referred to as soursop and is also known as guanabana.  It is often found as a juice in health food and nutrition stores. In the wild, it is an herb and a fruit. In the lab, Graviola and cancer are bitter enemies, with Graviola often the victor when used as a treatment for cancer in both live subjects and test tube experiments.


People in Africa and South America use the bark, leaves, root, and fruits of the Graviola tree. They treat infections with viruses or parasites, rheumatism, arthritis, depression, and sickness. We know from research that some Graviola extracts can help to treat these conditions.

In laboratory studies, Graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells. These cells are resistant to some chemotherapy drugs. A more recent study showed that Graviola pulp extract has an effect on prostate cancer cells in mice.

It said that several studies show positive results in using Graviola. But that there need to be more robust and systematic clinical trials to test and confirm its value in cancer treatment.



Apricot kernels

Scientists have found that a compound called amygdalin, present in apricot kernels, may be a way to eradicate tumors and prevent cancer by stopping cancer cells from reproducing.

A laboratory study published in 2005 suggested that amygdalin might inhibit genes that lead to cell proliferation.

In 2012, a laboratory study found that enhancing amygdalin with β-D-glucosidase may make it useful in treating liver cancer.

What is amygdalin?

Apricot seeds contain amygdalin, which the body can convert to cyanide.

Amygdalin is a naturally occurring substance found in apricot kernels.

When someone eats amygdalin, it converts to cyanide in their body.

Although cyanide is a fast-acting, potentially deadly to a human body, it also kills cancer cells in the human body by preventing them from using oxygen.

What is laetrile? What is vitamin B-17?

Laetrile, also called B-17, is a partly synthetic form of amygdalin. It has been proposed as an alternative treatment for cancer.

Laetrile is produced from amygdalin through a chemical reaction with water.

In 1952, the biochemist, Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. developed laetrile in an injectable form. His father had tried apricot seeds as a cancer treatment in 1920.

However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not approve B-17, or laetrile, for use in the U.S. It is deemed unsafe for food and drug use.

It is suggested that people may “accommodate” apricot kernels, “having negative reactions at first but gradually building up to higher doses.”


Read also about the 4 Ways the Ketogenic Diet Fights Cancer

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