Tomatoes are an excellent dietary source of lycopene, a phytochemical molecule known as a carotenoid, which is responsible for the vibrant red, orange and yellow colours of a lot of vegetables and fruits. Lycopene is probably the carotenoid which has potentially the most powerful impact on the fight against cancer.
Although most studies on the tomatoes’ anticancer effects focused on prostate cancer prevention, it appears likely that tomatoes could play a role in preventing other cancers.
Cooked tomato products are especially rich in lycopene. Exposure to heat ruptures the cell walls which allow the molecule to be better extracted, bringing about changes in the structure letting it be more easily assimilated by the body.
Consuming tomato-based products is an easy way for reducing prostate cancer risk. Eating 2 tomato sauce-based meals each week could lower prostate cancer risk by a remarkable 25%.
The powerful phytochemical compounds found in garlic are capable of helping prevent the start or progress of specific kinds of cancers, particularly oesophageal and stomach cancers.
Garlic appears to be especially effective in protecting against cancers as a result of nitrosamines, potentially high carcinogenic chemical compounds. Our intestinal flora makes nitrosamines from nitrites, which are food additives are commonly used as preservatives in pickled foods and cured meats like ham, bacon, and sausages.
Garlic can also attack and destroy tumour cells directly by way of apoptosis. More on the health benefits of garlic
Broccoli is an exceptionally potent anticancer food. The elimination of a type of estrogen linked to breast cancer is increased by sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, compounds called glucosinolates which are found in broccoli.
Research demonstrates that both indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane stops the growth of both breast and prostate cancer cells.
Indole-3-carbinol also increases the liver’s ability to detoxify toxic compounds and also reduces human papillomavirus growth, the dreaded virus linked to cervical cancer.
It’s suggested by researchers that eating about 2 pounds of broccoli a week could reduce cancer risk by half. More on the health benefits of broccoli.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the anticancer properties of lignans, which are abundant in flaxseeds. The cancer promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue are restricted by lignan compounds which bind to estrogen receptors. The estrogen level regulating compound known as sex hormone-binding globulin is also increased by lignans.
Reduce estrogen levels with daily flaxseed supplementation, thus reducing breast cancer risk. More on the health benefits of flaxseed
Researchers have identified berries as potentially important foods in preventing cancer.
Ellagic acid, a polyphenol found principally in strawberries and raspberries is the phytochemical compound associated with berries most likely to prevent cancer.
Research indicates that ellagic acid prevents carcinogenic substance activation into cellular toxins. The cells’ capacity to defend themselves against toxic aggression could also be increased by ellagic acid.
6. Green Tea
Tea contains hundreds of chemical compounds and one class of compounds known as catechins are responsible for the amazing anticancer properties of green tea. Although green tea contains several catechins, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate ) is the catechin with the most powerful anticancer activity.
Studies have shown that EGCG inhibits the growth of cancerous cell lines in vitro. Animal studies have shown that green tea prevents the developing of many tumours as a result of carcinogens, primarily breast cancers, skin cancers, lung cancers, colorectal cancers and oesophageal cancers.
The catechin content of green tea varies greatly depending on the area of cultivation and other factors, but Japanese green teas generally contain far more EGCG than do Chinese teas. More on green tea and weight loss