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6 Foods Science Says Can Help Prevent Cancer (Do You Eat These?)

It seems like everywhere you look these days, there’s another article telling us about more must-eat “it” foods that prevent cancer or the latest anti-cancer diets. It’s enough to make your head spin.

If you’ve found yourself overwhelmed and paralyzed by the “eat this, not that” advice next to the countless array of diet trends, you’re not alone.

We all live busy lives so adding in yet another exotic superfood isn’t always feasible.

Enter the straightforward advice to eat these six totally accessible and affordable foods that can help prevent cancer. Each of these contains a high amount of nutrients and disease-fighting benefits.

Read on to learn about 6 foods that science says when eaten on a regular basis can help prevent cancer.

Science Proves the Power of an Anti-Cancer Diet:

Board-certified physician and best-selling author Dr. Joel Furhman first came out with the advice to focus on these six foods for cancer prevention, all of which you can find in any grocery store.

Dr. Furhman specializes in the prevention and reversal of chronic disease, and favors a plant-heavy nutrition approach.

He stresses that every bite we eat influences our health and came up with this handy “G-BOMBS” (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, seeds) acronym to make it easy to remember.

In a world full of confusing and always-changing info, it can seem like every day there’s a new article warning us of the cancer-causing risks lurking in every corner.

Luckily, science shows the very real power of the food we eat. Not only can they improve our health in the here and now, but they also provide powerful protection against the risk of future disease, such as cancer – which is currently the number two leading cause of death next to heart disease.

Eat These 6 Foods Regularly to Help Prevent Cancer, According to Science:

It’s no surprise that all of these foods are staples in the diets of those living in blue zone regions – areas of the world that have the highest concentration of people living to be over 100.

They’re also foods featured in almost any healthy diet you’ve ever heard of, so you may not be shocked to see this list. What may surprise you is the science behind their cancer prevention benefits. . .

Read on to learn more!


1. Greens

It’s no newsflash – we’ve probably all heard by now that greens are beneficial in cancer prevention.

Not only are they very nutrient dense yet low calorie – meaning you can (and should!) eat a lot – they’re also packed with a range of vitamins, iron, folate, protein, and calcium. A diet rich in greens can keep your brain function sharp plus help ward off heart disease.

And what about cancer? When your chew on cruciferous veggies (broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale), a chemical is converted to isothiocyanates (ITCs) which have been shown to help literally remove carcinogens and fight off cancer cells.

Need to spice up your greens? Make a non-boring Rainbow Salad With Walnut Cilantro Dressing for Radiant, Glowing Skin (Recipe)

Add to your grocery list: Arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, turnips, and other cruciferous veggies.

2. Beans

Beans are a complete nutritional powerhouse! Not only are they an amazing source of fiber and plant-based protein, they’re also one of the essential foods that prevent cancer on Dr. Furhman’s list.

Bonus point: beans are super versatile in stews, salads, pasta dishes, or even desserts.

Studies show that populations that eat large amounts of beans tend to have low rates of cancer. This could be in part thanks to bean’s high fiber content, which the American Cancer Society recommends bulking up on to help lower the risk of cancer.

Tip: If beans make you bloated or gassy, make sure to thoroughly rinse beans from a can and soak dried beans overnight before cooking – it’ll help!

Add to your grocery list: All types of beans! Black, pinto, garbanzo, cannellini, kidney, lentils, and green peas.

3. Onions

We all know onions lend flavor to sauces and dishes, but you may not be as familiar with the anti-cancer benefits they have.

Onions, along with garlic, shallots, scallions, and leeks, belong to the Allium family of vegetable, and can boost cardiovascular and immune system health while decreasing cancer risks, too.

Studies have shown that a higher consumption of onions and garlic are associated with lower rates of various types of cancer, as they can slow cell and tumor growth and fight off the damage from free radicals.

Cooked in dishes or raw in sandwiches or salads, try to work in onions and/or garlic each day for flavor plus tons of anti-cancer benefits.

Add to your grocery list: Any variety of white, yellow, or red onions, along with garlic, scallions, shallots, or leeks.

4. Mushrooms

Think of trendy “it” superfoods and mushrooms likely come to mind. Not just a fad though – mushrooms deserve their spot on the must-eat superfood list.

Studies have shown some seriously impressive benefits of medicinal mushrooms like turkey tail or chaga, which help to boost the immune system’s ability to ward off cancer.

Don’t overlook the humble baby bella or white variety you can pick up in any store. Mushrooms are a dietary aromatase inhibitor, a fancy term meaning they block the production of estrogen, actually mimicking the effects of prescription drugs used to treat breast cancer.

Add to your grocery list: Any common variety like cremini, white, or portobello, or go wild with fancier varieties like turkey tail, reishi, or chaga.

Or try this recipe for a medicinal mushroom latte! You Won’t Believe the Secret Ingredient in This Brain-Boosting Coffee Alternative Recipe

5. Berries

Another heavy hitter on the list of ultimate health foods, berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and as it turns out, potentially cancer prevention benefits. These are high on most anti-cancer diets.

Studies have demonstrated that berries can ward off oxidative damage and inhibit cancer initiation and progression.

Chow down daily as a snack, with breakfasts, or in smoothies!

Add to your grocery list: Wild blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, raspberries, and strawberries. If you can, buy them organic, and if fresh ones aren’t available or affordable, grab them frozen!


6. Seeds

Rounding out the list of foods that prevent cancer, the “S” of “G-BOMBS” is seeds, as in, flax, chia, sunflower, or sesame. Seeds are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, and easy to toss into yogurt or oats, a smoothie, or even on top of a salad.

Studies have looked at how flaxseed mimics the estrogen-receptor blocking effects of prescription drugs, to inhibit risk and growth of breast cancer.

Add to your grocery list: Flax (ground or whole), hemp, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds.

The Takeway on Anti-Cancer Diets: What We Put On Our Plates Matters

Adding these six foods that prevent cancer to your diet isn’t a magical cure-all – there’s no such thing, but it definitely can’t hurt.

You’ll be bulking up your diet with loads of vitamins, phytonutrients, and anti-cancer compounds.

Whether you choose to sprinkle them into your diet throughout the day or make one big salad or macro bowl that knocks out all six, dig in, and know you’re treating your body to some of nature’s most potent wellness!

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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Emmy Schneider-Green

Emmy is a passionate vegan foodie with a wanderlust spirit. When she’s not working her digital marketing day job or writing, she's probably spending time with her two calico cats, lifting weights, listening to a true crime podcast, or daydreaming (sun & moon Pisces here!)

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