3 Foods to Protect Yourself from Cancer

Submitted by Tracy Hatfield Yoda, MS, RD, CSOWM, CDE on December 12, 2018

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Adding These Protective Foods Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout your body."

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Current research suggests that diets low in fat and high in fiber, with plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains may reduce the risk of developing several forms of cancer. Try adding these three protective foods to your diet:


Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard, mustard and collard greens seem to offer protection against cancers of the colon, rectum and stomach. Broccoli is high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Try this versatile veggie raw in a salad, stir-fried in a small amount of oil with chicken breasts, onions, garlic and mushrooms or lightly steamed with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


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Fiber has been shown to dilute possible cancer-causing substances in the intestinal tract and can help reduce cholesterol when added to a low-fat diet. High fiber comes in at least a dozen different delicious forms, including whole grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high protein beans and legumes. Eating a variety of fiber-rich foods is the best approach to a well-rounded diet.


Vitamin Rich

Vitamins A, C and E are cell antioxidants that seem to protect against multiple types of cancer. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A and can be identified by the rich orange and green pigments found in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet 

Broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale are high in fiber.jpgpotatoes, apricots, broccoli, kale and spinach. A few great sources of vitamin C include grapefruit, oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries and tomatoes. Vitamin E is another great antioxidant and is found in kale, spinach and collard greens.


Stop by the produce section during your next grocery trip and bring home a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables to help promote a long and healthy life!

Tracy Hatfield Yoda, MS, RD, CSOWM, CDE, is a registered dietitian, certified specialist in obesity and weight management and a certified diabetes educator at the Lifestyle Health & Fitness Center.