No single food can prevent cancer on its own, but following a healthy diet does seem to reduce the risk

Here are some foods that experts say are worth adding to your plate.

Broccoli and Its Cruciferous Cousins

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage are rich sources of isothiocyanates, plant compounds that help our cells clear out toxins and repair themselves, which is very important for cancer prevention,

Research suggests consuming 4 -5 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week is associated with a reduced risk of cancer and other chronic conditions.

Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Products

Studies have long connected tomatoes to the reduced risk of prostate cancer thanks to their abundant stores of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red colour.

Cooking tomatoes, helps us absorb lycopene more easily than when we eat them raw, and consuming tomatoes with fat helps, too. So eating them cooked, such as in a sauce or with a healthy fat like olive oil, can help boost the health benefits you get from them.

Beans and Other Types of Legumes
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Common bean varieties like black and kidney beans, and legumes like chickpeas, dry peas and lentils, are great sources of fibre which is crucial for gut and immune health.  Fibre is also linked with colorectal cancer prevention.

The bacteria in our gut break fibre down into fuel for the cells lining the colon, which keeps them healthy and less likely to turn into cancer cells

Nuts, Especially Walnuts

Tree nuts are rich in healthy fats, protein and fibre, and studies have found that those who consume about a handful a day tend to have reduced risks of various types of cancer, especially those of the digestive system.

Walnuts in particular contain exceptionally high levels of plant compounds called ellagitannins, which are converted by our gut bacteria into metabolites that may reduce cancer’s ability to grow and multiply.


Fleshy fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates and black raspberries are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids that help protect cells from stress and DNA damage that can increase cancer risk.

For the most anti-inflammatory benefits, aim for about one cup of fresh or frozen (and ideally organic) berries per day

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

This pungent allium contains high levels of allicin, a sulfur-containing compound that is responsible for garlic’s strong odor and cancer-fighting abilities.

In one long-term study of more than 3,000 people who live in a region of China known to have high rates of stomach cancer, researchers found that around 5 cloves of  garlic per week, reduced risk of developing the disease. Stomach cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths globally.

According to Dr. Li, consuming garlic raw — pressed into oil for salad dressing or in guacamole, for example — will help “to keep the flavours and chemicals inside alive.”

Sam Silvester –

Adapted from an article by Nikki Campo (freelance writer)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This