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Some foods that may help lower your cancer risk

vegetables, fruits and lean proteins are shown with text: Eat a. A plant-based diet can help lower your cancer risk, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Oranges,

Is there such a thing as a cancer-fighting food? Can certain foods prevent cancer?

Unfortunately, the answer is “no.” There is no food that can stop cancer in its tracks or bring your risk of developing cancer to zero. Eating healthy food can reduce your risk, but it won’t eliminate it.

“There are many different causes for cancer,” says Lindsey Wohlford, wellness dietitian. “Research tells us that making healthy food choices consistently over time can reduce your risk of getting cancer, but you can’t say with absolute certainty that food can prevent cancer. There are no guarantees.”

“Cancer-fighting foods”


Most berries also contain antioxidants. Studies show these antioxidants protect the body from cell damage that could lead to skin cancer, as well as cancers of the bladder, lung, breast and esophagus.

Bok choy

Studies show that cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy help to reduce your risk of developing cancer. It’s full of cancer-fighting compounds such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, folate, and selenium.


Broccoli and its sprouts contain naturally occurring isothiocyanates such as SFN with potent cancer-fighting properties. In vitro and animal experiments have extensively studied the role of SFN in treating different types of cancers as well as other diseases.


After a review of the global research, AICR’s reports found that eating garlic frequently lowers the risk of colorectal cancers. There are many ways in which garlic and its compounds may do this: Lab studies show that garlic compounds help with DNA repair, slow the growth of cancer cells and decrease inflammation.

Get the latest research on garlic and colorectal cancer in our lates Foods that Fight Cancer entry.

It’s the sulfur compounds that give garlic its distinctive scent, along with many of its health benefits. But each clove of garlic is crammed with a variety of phytochemicals, many showing cancer-fighting properties in the lab.

leafy greens

Research findings show that the carotenoids found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale can act as antioxidants and boost the body’s own antioxidant defenses. These defenses help stop free radicals from damaging DNA that can lead to cancer.


Citrus fruit, like grapefruits and oranges, may have a role in preventing certain cancers. One large study in Japan found that people who had citrus fruits or juices 3-4 days a week were less likely to get cancer than those who had them 2 or fewer days a week.


Spinach may help reduce your risk of cancer because it contains multiple nutrients. First, spinach contains beta carotene, which is used to form Vitamin A. Next, it also contains Vitamin C, an antioxidant. Both beta carotene and Vitamin C are important nutrients and serve as protectors against developing cancer cells.

sweet potato

These sweet, creamy vegetables are packed with powerful cancer-fighting nutrients and make a lovely canvas for other healthy foods like chopped herbs, nuts, or veggies. Research shows eating a variety of plant-based foods may lower your risk of cancer. Sweet potatoes come in white, orange, or purple varieties.

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