ENQUIRER: Check out these cancer-fighting foods Wednesday October 30, 2013 To download a pdf of this article, please click here. Enquirer By: Toni Schklar According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, “No single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. Strong evidence shows that a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans helps lower risk for many cancers.” Important definitions From the American Cancer Society Free radicals (the bad guys) can damage important cellular molecules such as DNA (our genetic blue print) or lipids (fats in the cell wall) or other parts of the cell, and this damage can lead to cancer. To prevent free radical damage, the body has a system of antioxidants. Antioxidant (the good guy) is a compound that destroys free radicals that can damage cells. Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage – the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases. Antioxidants are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and end the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. The recommended way to get antioxidants is through food. Eating “colors of the rainbow” (all colors of fruits and vegetables) assures that all forms of antioxidants are being ingested. For most people, it’s sensible to get nutrients from whole foods rather than supplements. By eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, most of us should be able to obtain all the nutrients we need. Foods that fight cancer Apples Blueberries Broccoli and Cruciferous (Cabbage Family) Vegetables Cherries Coffee Cranberries Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Flaxseed Garlic Grapefruit Grapes Green Tea Legumes (Dry Beans, Peas and Lentils) Soy Squash Tomatoes Walnuts Whole Grains Additional Tips Avoid meats and eggs that come from animals/poultry fed antibiotics and hormones. Select fruits and vegetables that have been grown close to home without use of pesticides. Limit animal fat and avoid charring meat when cooking (both are thought to be contributors to cancer).