When people think of cancer prevention, often the first thing that comes to mind are the things that they need to avoid, such as not smoking, avoiding certain artificial sweeteners, and various chemicals in the environment. Another key aspect to cancer prevention is paying attention to your diet, since certain foods can reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. For example, a diet that is full of a wide variety of richly colored fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer since they contain antioxidants. Additionally, people whose diet consists of an abundance of fruits and vegetables are not likely to have issues with obesity. People who are overweight are at higher risk of breast cancer and colon cancer than those whose weight is within normal limits.
How Antioxidants Help in Cancer Prevention
Many of the functions performed by cells in the body involve oxidation reactions. During these reactions, the cells create free radicals. These molecules can cause damage to the DNA in the cells, which can lead to the development of cancer. Other sources of free radicals in the body include the smoke from tobacco products and radiation. When a person has sufficient antioxidants in their system, they will cleanse the body of the majority of free radicals.
Some of the Nutrients that Act as Antioxidants
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties that fight cancer. Some of these nutrients, as well as the foods that contain them, include the following:
- Beta-Carotene is found in sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, collards, spinach, and kale.
- Lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants. Dietary sources of this essential nutrient include tomatoes, guava, mangoes, apricots, and blood oranges.
- Vitamin A comes in three forms, retinol, vitamin A2, and vitamin A3. Some of the foods that are rich in this dietary antioxidant include liver, milk, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, mozzarella cheese, and carrots.
- Vitamin C, which is also referred to as ascorbic acid, is found in citrus fruits, as well as many other fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli. Additionally, some fortified cereals also contain vitamin C.
- Vitamin E is found in almonds, wheat germ, and the following oils: safflower, soybean, and corn. Other dietary sources of vitamin E include mangoes, broccoli, and nuts.
- Lutein, which is also essential for eye health, is a nutrient contained in collard greens, kale, and spinach.
Since most people have an extremely busy lifestyle, they find it difficult to sit down to eat meals and snacks that have antioxidant rich foods. If you find that you do not get enough fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, do not despair. EnergyFirst’s Green Drink Powder contains five servings of fruits and vegetables that contain cancer-fighting anti-oxidants.
http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/?gclid=CNWljszap7YCFRMZnQodrj0ALg http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1945160/ http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants