It is currently estimated that 1 in 3 people will get cancer. In 20 years from now, this figure might grow up to 1 in 2 people. Eating certain kinds of foods is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. While the evidence accumulates, adding the following foods to your diet cannot hurt, and is likely to help.
- Fruit and vegetables are top of the anti-cancer foods. These are good sources of vitamins A and C. A study in Japan on 265,000 people found that those with a low intake of betacarotene, which is found in fruit and vegetables, had a high risk of lung cancer. Other studies have produced the same result for colon, stomach, prostate and cervical cancers. Betacarotene is found in particularly large amounts in carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe melons and apricots. There is lots of vitamin C in fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Garlic, used liberally, may keep cancer away. A National Cancer Institute study carried out in China in 1989 discovered that provinces where garlic was used liberally in their cooking had the lowest rate of stomach cancer. Garlic contains sulphur compounds that help deal with toxins and free radicals.
- Soya beans have been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. In Japan and China, women who get most of their protein from soya bean foods – tofu, soya beans themselves and soya milk – have lower rates of breast cancer. These results have been confirmed in animal studies.
- Yogurt may protect against colon cancer. The bacterium Lactobacillus adicophilus, found in many live yogurts, slows down the development of colon tumours, and yogurt-eaters have a lower incident of colon cancer than those who do not eat yogurt, as do those whose calcium intake is high. Abnormal cell divisions in the colon have also been shown to slow right down when calcium intake is increased to 2,000mg a day. Of course, non-diary yogurt would be best.
- Sesame and sunflower seeds are rich in selenium, vitamin E, calcium and zinc. Eat a spoonful every day to keep your antioxidant army in top condition.