Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

Mounting evidence shows that the foods we eat weigh heavily in the war against cancer.

By Elizabeth Heubeck, MA
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

As researchers continue to wage war against cancer, many have begun to focus on what could be the most promising ammunition to date: diet.

"The easiest, least-expensive way to reduce your risk for cancer is just by eating a healthy diet," says Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, PhD, MPH, RD, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute.

When it comes to a diet rich in cancer-fighting substances, most experts agree that it should consist of a predominantly plant-based diet. "If you have two-thirds of plant food on your plate, that seems to be enough to avoid excessive amounts of food high in saturated fat," says Karen Collins, RD, nutritional advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research.

That seemingly simple advice could mean a drastic change in diet for many people.

"People who are thinking that this is like a diet, and are trying to choke this stuff down, it's never going to last," Collins tells WebMD. "You're looking at creating something for a lifetime. If it takes you awhile, but each month or so you enjoy [one more vegetable], then that's great," Collins.

You may want to start with some of the following food substances, all of which show promise as cancer-fighting agents.

Folate-Rich Foods

This B-complex vitamin can be found in many 'good for you' foods. Plus, manufacturers of cereals, pastas, and breads often fortify their products with folate.