The thought of cancer can often feel scary and overwhelming, but one way to feel a sense of power over your health is to focus on prevention whenever possible. Our doctors often focus on helping us create a game plan after a diagnosis of any type of ailment, but we can take our health into our own hands long before any illness appears. In fact, taking charge of our health in this way just might prevent that illness from ever arriving.
Keeping stress manageable, prioritizing quality sleep, getting a healthy amount of exercise, and eating nutritious foods can all make a difference in disease prevention. When it comes to preventing cancer, eating antioxidant-rich meals and other healthy foods have the potential to make a difference.
Certain healthy habits may help to lower your risk of cancer, and eating cancer-crushing foods is a great place to start. Incorporate some of the fruits and vegetables below into your diet to help with cancer prevention. Luckily, they taste great!
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage and cauliflower) are known for their phytonutrients, which may help prevent cancer. Steamed broccoli makes a great dinner side or lunch component. If you don’t love the taste of broccoli but are hoping to implement it into more meals, try pairing it with melted cheese. You’ll have a tough time resisting!
Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals from your body. Other berries, like raspberries and cranberries, are high in antioxidants as well. These vibrant fruits may help to keep cancer away, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they’re delicious. Colorful berries make a great snack, and they can even serve as a great dessert. Frozen berries combined with Greek yogurt make for a perfect treat.
Grapefruit is very high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant known to be a potential aid in preventing cancer. Vitamin C is thought to help prevent certain cancer-causing compounds from forming. You can also find Vitamin C in foods like oranges and broccoli, but grapefruit is an excellent start. It’s also a great morning meal! When you sit down to eat your grapefruit, don’t forget to use a grapefruit spoon—its specially designed ridges make it easier to dig out each refreshing slice as you go. Grapefruit is known for interacting with certain medications, so before making the fruit a regular part of your routine, consult your doctor.
Bright, beautiful beets have a crisp taste that’s tough to top. Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beets their red color, is believed to help prevent cancer cells from developing and reduce inflammation. Try beets in a salad for an experience that will totally impress your taste buds.
Kale’s crunchy, rich texture and refreshing taste have made it a grocery store celebrity over the past few years. If that great taste alone wasn’t enough, kale is rich in antioxidants. Kale is in the cruciferous vegetable family just like broccoli, and it’s said to help our bodies take in iron and eliminate some of our bad cholesterol. Like grapefruit, kale does not mix well with certain medications, so if you take any medications daily, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding extra kale to your routine. Kale tastes great in salads, smoothies, and even in a chip-like form.
Building positive, constructive habits can help to lower your cancer risk. Focusing on living a healthy life is a great step toward prevention, and nutritious foods are a big key to a healthier life. When you reach for these fruits and veggies at the grocery store, you can rest well knowing you’re making a difference in your overall health.