How to Prevent Cancer with Food

The foods we consume play a great role in our risk for developing certain chronic diseases, including cancer. A balanced and varied diet that includes complex carbs, healthy fats, different antioxidants and phytochemicals from plant-based foods offer amazing benefits to help protect our bodies from cellular damage that can lead to the development of cancer.

In this article, we’re going to share with you what specific nutrients to look for in foods to help you decide which foods to consume when considering the prevention of cancer. Keep reading if you want to learn more! 

Choosing Healthy Fats

One important thing to keep in mind is that not all fats are created equal! Some will promote health and disease prevention, while others will promote disease. Choosing the right dietary fats, in healthy amounts, will help reduce risk of cancer.  

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are a type of fat that are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and recent studies indicate that they also have some anticancer effects as well, specifically decreasing the risk for breast cancer in women!  These fats are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. Make sure to check out Pure Plate’s delicious 6-oz salmon fillet for a meal packed with Omega-3 fats to offer anti-inflammatory effects and reduce risk of cancer!

Another type of healthy fat we want you to consider is monounsaturated fats. These fats are typically liquid at room temperature and they offer incredible health benefits to prevent chronic disease - yes, cancer included! Some important sources of monounsaturated fats are:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts- such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts
  • Seeds, such as pumpkin and sesame seeds

Antioxidants, Like vitamin A, C, and E

Antioxidants are substances found in certain foods that offer incredible benefits in the body! Antioxidants protect our cells from free radical formation, which are oxidized molecules formed during the process of breaking down foods or when exposed to radiation or tobacco smoke that can result in different types of cancers.

Antioxidants play a critical role in inhibiting or slowing down this oxidative process from occurring within our cells. Vitamins A, C, and E are a few examples of these compounds that serve as antioxidants in the body to help prevent cancer.

Luckily, these vitamins can be found in many foods that we eat! Here are some antioxidant-rich foods to add to your diet:

Vitamin A- Eggs, Liver, Fish oil, and Dairy products. 

Vitamin C- A variety of fruits and vegetables, like citrus fruits, bell peppers, and berries

Vitamin E- Different nuts, sunflower seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

Pure Plates offers many different meals that are packed with different vitamins that serve as antioxidants in the body, like this delicious Zesty Deviled Eggs dish to fight off cancer!

Phytochemicals from Plant-based foods

Phytochemicals are compounds produced in plants that are thought to help prevent cancer from occurring in the body. Promising studies show the important role phytochemicals play in minimizing the risk for cancer development and growth in healthy individuals.

“Phyto” comes from the Greek word “plants,” meaning they are chemicals that are naturally produced by plants. They are found in different vegetables, fruits, grains, and other plants that help stop the formation of carcinogens, or cancer-forming substances and inhibit them from attacking our healthy cells. 

Since these phytochemicals naturally occur in a lot of different vegetables, fruits, and grains available to us, this makes it fairly easy to include in your diet! There are a variety of different types of phytochemicals found in plant foods that we want to highlight in this article, including:

  • Carotenoids: These are a class of phytochemicals mostly concentrated in green leafy vegetables and colored fruits. Some important sources of carotenoids are- Broccoli, spinach, kale, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes. 
  • Flavonoids: These are another group of phytochemicals that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in our bodies and are most concentrated in grains, different fruits and vegetables, tea and wine. 
      • Important sources of flavonoids are: Berries, legumes, green tea, pure dark chocolate, and red wine. 
  • Polyphenols: Another important class of phytochemicals to help reduce risk of cancer. Important sources of polyphenols are found in many fruits and vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices. 
      • Important sources of polyphenols include: Black beans and white beans, berries, hazelnuts, artichokes, cloves, and peppermint. 
  • Sulfides: These are most commonly found in garlic and onions and are shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body to prevent cancer. 

  • Dietary Tips

    1. Try making fruits and vegetables a component of every meal
    2. Make nuts and seeds a part of your diet. They are incredible foods to snack on!
    3. Cook with vegetable or olive oil instead of butter and margarine to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats
    4. Choose whole grains instead of refined to increase your intake of different vitamins and minerals 
    5. Eat in moderation while keeping in mind to include a variety of foods onto your plate. The colors of food on your plate is important! They indicate antioxidant levels you’re consuming
    6. Try having a cup of green tea once a day. Green tea is an important source of flavonoids to prevent cancer!

    Pure Plates offers many different meal options that are packed with healthy fats, different antioxidants and phytochemicals to reduce risk of cancer- we recommend checking out our best sellers to see which food would be best for you!