09/21/2018 / By Ellaine Castillo
The prospect of getting breast cancer is one of the greatest worries a woman faces. Among the different types of cancer, breast cancer remains the most common and is one of the leading causes of death among women. With only one in eight women developing the condition, there is still hope of avoiding breast cancer. Reducing risks can be achieved by consuming superfoods with anti-cancer properties.
Generally speaking, foods with high levels of antioxidants are known for lowering lower cancer risk. These antioxidants protect the body from damage induced by oxidative stress and that is often linked to cancer development. These foods may also contain substances that have inherent anti-cancer effects, such as reducing tumor growth, inducing apoptosis, and preventing metastasis.
There is a long list of foods that have been shown to significantly reduce cancer risk. Some of them are the following:
- Arugula – This leafy vegetable contains isothiocyanates that are able to neutralize carcinogens in the body. In addition to this, arugula also contains anti-cancer agents like chlorophyll, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
- Flaxseed – These tiny seeds are able to prevent breast cancer due to their high fiber content. Additionally, they have also been shown to inhibit excess estrogen, which has been implicated in breast cancer development.
- Green tea – One specific type of flavonoid, known as catechin, is abundant in green tea. Catechin has antioxidant properties that allow it to prevent DNA damage caused by oxidative stress. It can also suppress urokinase, an enzyme that is overactive in breast cancer patients.
- Raspberry – Aside from being rich in fiber, raspberries also contain ellagic acid that acts against carcinogens and prevents DNA mutations. Raspberries have been shown to specifically induce apoptosis in cancer cells.
- Salmon – Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant in salmon that protects against oxidative stress-induced damage. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids that have been associated with breast cancer prevention.
- Asparagus – Asparagus contains glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant that helps detoxify carcinogens. It also boosts the immune system by enhancing macrophage activity to get rid of cancer cells.
- Horseradish – The glucosinolates in horseradish not only detoxify carcinogens, but they also inhibit tumor growth.
- Cherries – Anthocyanin, the pigment that gives cherries their red color, helps prevent cancer. Cherries also have perillyl alcohol that kills cancer cells.
- Cabbage – Raw or lightly steamed cabbage contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can fight off cancer. In addition to this, cabbage also has isothiocyanates.
- Kale – The antioxidant-rich kale prevents cellular damage that causes breast cancer. It also contains the anti-cancer agent, beta-carotene.
- Watercress – Anti-cancer agents, such as beta-carotene and sulforaphane, have been discovered in watercress. Additionally, watercress can also inhibit the production of metalloproteinase-9, a metal that helps cancer metastasis.
- Broccoli – Like watercress, broccoli also has high amounts of sulforaphane. This compound works by neutralizing carcinogens, suppressing DNA mutation, and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells.
- Brussels sprouts – The antioxidant indole-3-carbinol found in Brussels sprouts can eliminate carcinogens from the body.
- Carrots – Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene and falcarinol, which slows tumor growth and metastasis.
- Shiitake mushrooms – This type of mushroom contains high levels of selenium and beta-glucans, which have been shown to target and fight off cancer cells.
- Rosemary – Aside from containing many antioxidants, rosemary can also inactivate estradiol and estrone, which are types of estrogen linked to breast cancer development.
- Pomegranate – Studies have shown that eating pomegranate can reduce tumor incidence. This can be attributed to the presence of luteolin, ellagic acid and punicic acid, which can prevent DNA damage, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and reduce breast tumor number and size.