Superfoods help fight against lung cancer – ‘Eat a Rainbow’ turns out to be good advice
“Eat a rainbow” turns out to be good advice in reducing your risk of lung cancer. Health experts say superfoods can help prevent and fight cancer. The more varied your rainbow of fruits and vegetables, the greater the benefits seem to be in avoiding squamous cell lung cancer.
Smoking, second-hand smoke, and radon exposure are the leading causes of lung cancer. The most important step you can take is to quit smoking. Radon, an invisible gas given off by decomposing uranium is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
Expand your arsenal with these superfoods:
Apples, rich in flavonoids, flavanols, flavones, and flavanones, are closely linked to a decreased risk of smoking-related cancer. The skins are especially rich in this important micronutrient.
Berries, all berries but especially wild blueberries, are full of anthocyanins, which slows the growth of premalignant cells. Cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and plums also have anthocyanins.
A half-cup of black and navy beans a few times a week will increase butyrate, a fatty acid that protects against colon and lung cancer. One study has shown dried beans help prevent breast cancer.
Butternut squash contains beta-cryptoxanthin, shown to lower the risk of lung cancer (15 – 40%). It may also help arthritis sufferers. Tangerines, persimmons, cayenne pepper, paprika, and chili powder are also sources of beta-cryptoxanthin.
Cherries, full of perillyl alcohol, encourage lung tumor cells to destroy themselves.
Raw garlic, eaten twice a week, lowered the risk of lung cancer 44% in a Chinese study. Mincing garlic and exposing it to air for 10 minutes before adding to food or sautéing has similar benefits.
Cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, bok choy, and cauliflower—contain glucosinates have been found to decrease the overall risk of lung cancer by 21 – 32%. Women especially benefit. Others in the same family:
- Collard greens
- Brussels sprouts
Eating plenty of fish has been shown to reduce your risk of lung cancer by 21%.
A study of the effects of green tea showed an associated reduction lung and other cancers. Drink it with a bit of lemon to help absorption.
Onions contain quercetin, associated with less chance of developing lung cancer; it may be effective for chronic inflammation and atherosclerosis.
High poultry intake has been correlated with a 10% decrease in the risk of developing lung cancer.
Red Bell and chili peppers contain capsaicin. A Swiss study found exposure to capsaicin inhibited the development of cancer in mice exposed to a carcinogen. Capsaicin seems to discourage the development of abnormal cells.
Rosehips, full of proanthocyanidins and vitamin C, are known for anti-tumor and cancer properties. Also high in vitamin E, they can be eaten fresh or used for jellies, jams, and pies.
Rosemary, sage, parsley, and oregano contain carnosol and disrupts the processes by which abnormal cells become cancerous.
Spinach is rich in folate, and 2 carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Folate repairs DNA and encourages the growth of new, healthy cells. Carotenoids remove free radicals. Spinach and other dark green, leafy vegetables are rich in all three.
The selenium in shiitake mushrooms helps fight lung cancer. They’re also a source of beta-glucans that help move immune cells into cancerous ones and destroy them.
Tomatoes are the best source of lycopene. Cooked tomatoes increase the amount of lycopene your body can absorb. One study found lycopene inhibits endometrial cancer cell.
Turmeric contains antioxidant compounds that disrupt nitrosamine and aflatoxin production, which are related to an increased cancer risk. Turmeric has shown signs of triggering cancer cells’ self-destruction.
In addition to healthy eating, take steps to test for and mitigate your radon exposure. It’s impossible to detect radon without testing your home or office. Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your family.