World Cancer Day 2024: 6 cancer-fighting foods you must include in your daily diet
Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle can raise your risk of developing cancer. Here are cancer-fighting foods that can help you prevent the disease.
Among a range of factors that raise cancer risk, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle emerge as significant ones in today's times. As we grow more inactive with each passing year, our cancer risk escalates. This highlights the crucial role of healthy diet and regular physical activity in avoiding onset of various malignancies. A well-balanced diet can nourish our body, strengthening our immune system, and providing our body with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre that can have a protective effect against cancer. Many types of cancer can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. While a nutritious diet doesn't guarantee full protection, but it can certainly aid in reducing cancer risk. (Also read | World Cancer Day 2024: Date, history, theme, significance, signs and symptoms)
"In our quest for a healthier lifestyle, the significance of a well-balanced diet cannot be overstated. While no single food can guarantee immunity against cancer, incorporating certain nutrient-rich options into our daily meals can contribute to a proactive approach in reducing the risk of cancer," says By Dr Neeti Sharma, Sr. Consultant - Nutrition & Dietetics, Marengo Asia Hospitals, Sector 56, Gurugram.
TOP CANCER-FIGHTING FOODS
In an interview with HT Digital, Dr Sharma, talks about six cancer-fighting foods that you should consider including in your daily diet:
1. Cruciferous vegetables
Embrace the power of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, these vegetables have shown promising potential in reducing the risk of various cancers, including breast and prostate cancer.
Nature's sweet treats, berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. These compounds help combat oxidative stress, which is linked to the development of cancer. Enjoy a handful of berries as a snack or add them to your morning cereal for a burst of flavour and health benefits.
The vibrant spice turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound. Studies suggest that curcumin may have anticancer properties by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Incorporate turmeric into your cooking or consider a turmeric supplement to reap its potential health benefits.
4. Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These greens provide a nutrient-dense foundation for a healthy diet and may contribute to cancer prevention by supporting overall cellular health.
5. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, have been associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, particularly colorectal cancer. Aim to include fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week to harness the anti-inflammatory and protective properties of omega-3s.
Beyond adding flavour to your dishes, garlic has been studied for its potential cancer-fighting properties. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, has demonstrated anti-cancer effects in various laboratory studies. Include fresh garlic in your meals to not only enhance taste but also to promote health.
While these cancer-fighting foods can be beneficial, it's essential to maintain a holistic approach to health, including regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.