36 Foods to Keep Cancer Away


Foods to Keep Cancer Away

Roughly 10 million deaths, or nearly one in six deaths, will be caused by cancer in 2020, making it the top cause of death globally. Did you know that most types of Cancer can be prevented by following a healthy diet?

Follow this article to know about a top few food recipes that are proven to keep cancer at bay.

36 Foods to Keep Cancer Away

1. Coffee

Studies have shown that drinking coffee reduces the risk of endometrial and liver cancer. Decaffeinated coffee has less caffeine and perhaps a little less phenolic acids, but it still accumulates protective phytochemicals that are needed to prevent cancer risk.

2. Green Tea

Green tea does not only soothe our stomach, clear our mind after a big day, but also consists of catechins – a natural phytochemical found in tea leaves – that fight early cancer cells. Drinking more green tea, while avoiding adding milk and sugar only increases our cancer protection and overall health respectively.

3. Black Tea

Polyphenols in black tea have antioxidant properties. These chemicals have considerable free radical scavenging activity and can protect cells from DNA damage. In addition, tea polyphenols have been shown in laboratory and animal studies to inhibit tumor cell and provoke cell death. Tea polyphenols may protect against damage from UVA and UVB radiation. 

4. Pumpkin Seed Smoothie

Carotenoids and vitamin E, which are powerful antioxidants that can help fight inflammation are abundant in pumpkin seeds. Clinical studies have found that consuming pumpkin seeds lowers chance of developing colon, breast, lung, and stomach cancer.

One can eat pumpkin seeds as it is, or roast it a little for a better taste, but it will benefit the most when we consume it with other nutrient rich food. One such way is a banana-pumpkin seed smoothie. Banana too, contains a starch that prevents cancer.

To prepare the smoothie, the pumpkin seeds needs to be soaked the previous night and blended with ripe bananas and sweetener of your choice (optional). This smoothie can be customized by adding a few other seeds too.

5. Turmeric Milk

The active component of turmeric – curcuminoids, may interfere with a number of cell signaling pathways, according to extensive study conducted over the past 20 years. This finding supports curcumin’s possible function in controlling the growth and spread of cancer.

A teaspoon of turmeric powder with half a teaspoon of black pepper powder in sweetened milk instantly warms up our insides, soothes sore throats, and helps our immune system to kill viruses faster. Aim to add least 1/2–3 teaspoons (1–3 grams) of turmeric powder each day in any form – in stews, milk, gravies, etc.., black pepper to help boost its absorption.

Some lab studies have found it might work against prostate, lung, breast, and colon cancers. It also helps lower blood pressure and blood fat level.

6. Ginger Tea

Gastro-intestinal cancer is a generic term to refer cancers in the larger part of body involved in digestion and excretion. Ginger, a tuber like turmeric is a medicinal staple in South Asian countries.

As ginger tea – a decoction of black tea with/without milk with little bit of ginger juice and sugar relieves throat itching, inflammation. Ginger is also good for travel sickness.

7. Soy-based milk

According to studies, men who drink a lot of milk have an increased risk of prostate cancer compared to guys who don’t consume a lot of calcium. A 2012 study found that drinking whole milk increased the likelihood of prostate cancer being fatal in men with prostate cancer. However, the researchers did not discover that this link held for other dairy or milk products. Still, patients with cancer are advised to drink low fat milk, replacing it with soy-based milk products such as soy milk and tofu.

Other high-fat milk products such as cheese, yogurt may also increase the risk of prostate cancer due to the high calcium amount, as research suggests. Soy milk on the other hand, is studied and found out it may decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

8. Citrus Fruit Snack

A few servings of those zesty, tangy fruits every day per week can lower your risk of cancer by 28 per cent – studies conclude. Citrus fruits are helpful especially in preventing digestive and upper-respiratory tract and pancreatic cancers.

You don’t need to go fancy with the recipes; eating fresh pieces of oranges, bitter lime at day is more healthier than extracting their juice and consuming it with added sugar so we don’t lose the fiber of the raw fruits.

9. Tomatoes 

Tomatoes contain the chemical lycopene, an anti-oxidant that has anti-cancer effects. According to several research, consuming more lycopene and tomatoes may lower the risk of developing prostate cancer. Additionally, an analysis of 17 research discovered that eating more raw, cooked, and lycopene-rich tomatoes was linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. 

Adding tomatoes in everyday diet, along with other healthy cancer-preventing foods would reduce the risk of cancer in the individual.

10. Garlic

Allicin, the main ingredient in garlic, has been demonstrated in numerous test-tube tests to kill cancer cells . According to one study with 543,220 participants, people who regularly consume vegetables rich in allium, such as garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots, have a lower risk of stomach cancer compares to those who do not. A study including 471 men found that eating more garlic was linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

11. Fish

Fishes which are particularly rich in essential minerals like vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are said to lower the risk of cancer. Such minerals are abundant in fatty fished like mackerel, anchovies and salmon.Vitamin D is thought to prevent and lower the risk of cancer while omega-3 fatty acids are believed to stop the disease from progressing further.

To receive a substantial supply of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, as well as to maximize the possible health advantages of these nutrients, plan to add fatty fish two times per week.

12. Strawberries

Rich in vitamin C and a group of polyphenolic compounds, strawberries can play an important role in your diet to reduce your risk of cancer when eaten regularly. They inhibit the growth and ability of cancer cells and diffuse and activate signals that cause atypical cells to self-destruct

13. Goji Berries

Berries are widely used in Chinese medicine as an adjuvant in the treatment of patients with malignant melanoma, carcinoma, lung cancer, or colorectal cancer. It can also make other cancer treatments work better and reduce side effects.

14. Leafy Greens

Dark vegetables such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, lettuce are rich in fiber, folic acid, and carotenoids. These nutrients may help protect against cancers of the mouth, larynx, pancreas, lungs, skin and stomach.

Giving those leaves a blanch and eating them with your favorite non-fatty salad dressings will provide enough vitamins and minerals needed for the day.  

15. Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E with proven anti-cancer effects. Numerous studies have found that eating walnuts has beneficial effects on a variety of ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, neuropathy, and cancer. 

16. Sweet Potatoes

It was also discovered that anthocyanins, a class of antioxidants present in purple sweet potatoes, inhibited the growth of some cancer cells, including those of the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast. To get the maximum nutrients, steam them and eat. In stews, don’t cook them for long time so they won’t loose their nutrients.

17. Olive Oil

Most cooking oils contain mineral oil with little to no pure extract. Moreover, cooking in high heat with this oil may produce other toxic chemicals is deadly to consume long term. Plain old olive oil is not only a tasty salad dressing but also contains anti-cancer properties.

Oleocanthal, a potent substance found in extra virgin olive oil, helps the body fight cancer while protecting healthy cells from harm. Breast, intestinal, and respiratory cancer risks can be reduced by intake of virgin olive oil as little as 1-2 tablespoons everyday. 

18. Cauliflower

Glucosinolates in cauliflower breaks down into compounds that help prevent cancer cells from forming and spreading. They protect against cell damage and also have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiviral properties.   

19. Broccoli

Broccoli is highly rich in a phytochemical called sulforaphane, an anti-cancer plant compound known to reduce the risk of prostate, breast, colon and oral cancer. The best way to eat broccoli is to steam for five minutes. Microwaving or boiling broccoli destroys the compound needed to protect the body from cancer.

20. Bok Choy

Bok Choy is full of compounds that combat with cancer cells. 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.

21. Grapes

Compounds in grapes inhibit the growth and spread ability of cancer cells and activate signaling that leads to self-destruction of abnormal cells. Phenolic acids enhance cellular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defenses against damage that can lead to cancer in cell and animal studies. 

22. Pears

Pears provide a beneficial plant compounds like catechins. These powerful antioxidants help lower blood pressure, improve vascular health and prevent blood clots. However, studies have shown that it can also protect against colon and lung cancer. 

23. Mango

Fruits such as mangoes are high in vitamin C which boosts the body’s defenses against infection and can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer. Mangiferin in mangoes is an anti-cancer compound. Studies have found that mangiferin also helps reduce inflammation and benefits the immune system.

24. Pomegranate

Pomegranate fruit, along with its juices, extracts, and oils all aid in prevention of cancer. The red fruit contains anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties by regulating multiple signaling pathways, making it a promising chemotherapeutic agent. 

25. Papaya

Lycopene in papaya may reduce the risk of cancer. It may also be beneficial for people undergoing cancer treatment. Papaya may work by reducing cancer-causing free radicals. In addition, papaya has unique effects not found in other fruits. Among 14 fruits and vegetables known to have antioxidant properties, only papaya showed anti-cancer activity in breast cancer cells exclusively.

26. Bean Sprouts

Proteins and peptides found in bean sprouts may also help reduce cancer risk. Studies show that these nutrients can slow the growth of cancer cells, including those associated with breast cancer, leukemia, and cancers of the digestive system. 

27. Baobab Leaves

Baobab leaves and powder contain high levels of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, which is key to cancer prevention. The pulp, seeds, and leaves can be consumed whole or as a powder, but the sun-dried and crushed leaves retain most of their medicinal properties.  

28. African Pear

Studies over the past 30 years have shown a direct link between increased fiber intake found in ube and reduced risk of colorectal cancer. This may be due to fiber or other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and essential nutrients.

29. Moringa Leaves

Moringa oleifera has long been a popular type of spinach in many East-Asian countries. It has numerous phenolic compounds with different biological activities. It has anti-cancer properties that can be used in the development of new drugs to treat various malignancies. 

30. Yam

Several antioxidants in yam that may have anti-cancer properties. In animal studies, a diet rich in yams significantly reduced colon tumor growth. A test-tube study found that extracts from chinese yam, especially the skin, inhibited the growth of liver tumors and exhibited antioxidant properties. 

31. Cinnamon

Cinnamon may help block the spread of cancer and even provoke the death of tumor cells. Another test-tube study showed that cinnamon essential oil inhibited the growth of head and neck cancer cells and also significantly reduced tumor size.

32. Flaxseeds

In one study, 32 women with breast cancer were given in form of flaxseed muffins daily for over a month. At the end of the study, the flaxseed group had reduced levels of certain markers that measure tumor growth and increased cancer cell death. In another study, 161 men with prostate cancer were treated with flaxseed. was found to suppress the proliferation and metastasis of cancer cells. Eating mildly roasted flax seeds or adding them in your health drinks are some of the effective methods to add them into your diet. 

33. Cayenne Pepper

This pepper contains capsaicin. Capsaicin aids weight loss and is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne pepper also contains beta-carotene. It is known to be toxic to cancer cells and prevents cancer cells from growing. 

34. Oregano

Oregano promotes cell death. This is because it contains the highest of anti-oxidants. This aromatic spice is also a natural disinfectant as it has antibacterial properties.

35. Saffron

Researchers discover that saffron, a spice in the Mediterranean diet, has cancer-preventing properties, including suppressing tumorigenesis and preventing DNA mutations. Additionally, saffron has been shown to help reduce the harmful effects of chemotherapy drugs. 

36. Special Mentions:

Cancer rate in India is much lower compared to the United States, which made the western countries study the impact of the Indian diet and its effects on cancer prevention. The first cause of India’s cancer risk is tobacco usage, and the second is changed unhealthy diet habits.  


A 2016 study published on the United States’ official website (National Library of Medicine) concluded that the combination of the ingredients in sambar may prevent one from developing colon cancer, which is the third-leading cause of death in western countries.

Sambar is a lentil and vegetable stew. It is a South-Indian staple which can be eaten with breakfast/dinner with idli, dosa, vada and pongal and as lunch with rice. The Spices involved in making sambar contains antitumorigenic properties – the ability to combat tumor-forming cells. Thus, the paper concludes oral diet of sambar is a preventive measure against colon cancer.

There are so many regional varieties of sambar but all of them involve tamarind paste, pigeon peas, tomatoes, shallots, sambar powder, and a choice of vegetables as a base. Sambar powder is made by roasting and grinding coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, bengal gram, urad dal ( split and peeled black gram), mustard seeds, and dried curry leaves.


Rasam, a sour and spicy soup normally consumed with rice after a main course meal is known to ease digestion, especially after eating heavy food. The combination of black peppercorns, garlic, and cumin seeds all contribute to curing cold and fever.

This comfort food also has cancer-preventing properties. It is proven by scientific analysis of the spices in rasam that it will prevent oxidative stress-induced human malignancies. Tamarind water which is used as a base for making rasam and is also beneficial as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Asafoetida itself has properties that prevent diabetes and certain types of cancer. Its immediate impact is aiding in good digestion and preventing gas formation inside the stomach.  

Like sambar, there are many varieties of rasam too but the basic version includes; tamarind paste, tomatoes, turmeric powder, garlic, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, split and peeled black gram (urad dal), asafoetida, dry chilies, and curry leaves.

Since all the ingredients are added at mild levels,  it won’t be too spicy or too sour, but a perfect concoction for a rainy day and to make the cold (and cancer) run away.

Conclusion :

A healthy diet is one among other prime factors to prevent any type of cancer. We can keep malignancies away when we eat not for the tongue, but for the body.

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