What Foods Destroy Cancer Cells?

Medically Reviewed on 5/4/2022
What foods destroy cancer cells?
Cancer cells multiply abnormally and spread to other parts of the body.

Due to a sudden change (mutations) in the DNA of cells, cancer cells tend to grow uncontrollably.

  • These abnormal cells do not function like normal cells; they multiply abnormally and spread to other parts of the body.
  • These cells do not die when they are supposed to.

Studies have reported that with increased calorie and fat intake, the risk of cancer increases. Eating a diverse range of healthy meals can help lower your risk of cancer.

Certain foods contain beneficial components that may aid in cancer prevention.

20 foods that help destroy cancer cells

Twenty foods that can help destroy cancer cells include:

  1. Apples: Apples include two types of cancer-fighting compounds, namely, flavonoids and phenolic acids. They are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They may work together to protect cells against damage that can lead to cancer, as well as inhibit newly formed cancer cells from multiplying further. According to 2010 research, eating at least one apple each day lowered the incidence of colorectal cancer by 50 percent.
  2. Nuts: According to new Harvard research, eating a serving of nuts each day (about a handful) can prevent both heart disease and cancer mortality. Studies report that consuming a serving of nuts five or more times a week resulted in an 11 percent reduction in cancer deaths.
  3. Flaxseed: Flaxseed has a variety of beneficial nutrients, including magnesium, manganese, thiamin, protein, and fiber. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Laboratory studies proved that flaxseed oil inhibits the development of various cancer cells such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, melanoma, and leukemia cells. 
  4. Beans and lentils: Beans and lentils are high in fiber and include antioxidants, phytochemicals, and folate, which reduce or prevent DNA damage in cells. Fiber provides a further advantage because it has been linked to a decreased incidence of gut malignancies such as colon cancer. Soybeans, in particular, contain genistein, a potent chemical being researched as a potential therapy for prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer.
  5. Mushrooms: Mushrooms provide a variety of immune modulation effects in addition to giving taste to dishes. Immunomodulation goes beyond activating the immune system by selectively boosting your immune system's defenses against invading germs but not against your own cells. Other notable benefits include antioxidants, a reduction in hormone-related cancer, and a reduction in excess inflammation. These advantages are greatest when consuming mushrooms that are fresh, cooked, powdered, or dried.
  6. Tea and coffee: Tea and coffee include ingredients that may protect against a range of malignancies. Antioxidants in coffee appear to be especially useful against endometrial cancer. Polyphenols in green tea may disrupt cancer cell division and multiplication, as well as impede blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) in tumors. Furthermore, green tea appears to protect against prostate cancer. However, it is crucial to allow the beverage to cool for a few minutes before consumption. The use of extremely hot beverages may increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
  7. Turmeric: Curcumin, a yellow-colored pigment, is the major compound in the spice turmeric. It has been shown in laboratory experiments to combat carcinogenic alterations in healthy cells and inhibit the formation of malignant cells. Curcumin may give protection against brain cancer, according to some research.
  8. Ginger: Ginger is an anti-inflammatory root herb. Inflammation is a well-known precursor of cancer and other chronic diseases. According to research published in Nutrition and Cancer, reducing inflammation may be crucial to lowering your risk of cancer. According to 2015 research published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicines, the most important component in ginger, 6-shogaol, has powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
  9. Tomatoes: Tomatoes, which are high in the antioxidant lycopene, may help prevent cancer by preventing malignant cells from growing and leading them to self-destruct. Although tomatoes are nutritious in practically every form, lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body in cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce.
  10. Carrots: Several studies have reported that carrots can aid in the prevention and reduction of the risk of various forms of cancer. A meta-analysis of about five research concluded that carrots could lower the incidence of stomach cancer by about 26 percent. To minimize your risk of cancer, try to incorporate carrots as a nutritious snack or as part of your meals.
  11. Garlic and onions: Chemicals that give garlic and onions their pungent flavor appear to protect against cancer by neutralizing carcinogenic agents and hastening DNA repair. Garlic, like many cancer-fighting foods, appears to be especially beneficial against digestive tract tumors, such as esophageal and colon cancer.
  12. Milk: Calcium and some other compounds in dairy products can neutralize possible carcinogens, notably those contained in processed meats. Milk may reduce the risk of cancer, but some studies do not agree with this. However, new studies demonstrate that people who consume milk are less prone to gain excess weight. Furthermore, there is evidence that keeping a healthy weight reduces the risk of cancer.
  13. Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and more. These vegetables are rich in carotenoids, vitamins, folate, fiber, and minerals. These contain phytochemicals such as sulforaphane and other sulfur compounds and glucosinolates, which are cancer-fighting chemicals. Some of these compounds are heat-sensitive, so, it is crucial not to overcook these vegetables.
  14. Dark, leafy greens: Leafy greens, such as arugula, kale, spinach, and romaine, are rich in folate that has cancer-preventive properties. Spinach may even be able to neutralize carcinogens found in cooked meat. They are also high in powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which have been proven in laboratory experiments to suppress the growth of early development of a range of cancer cells, including:
  15. Red grapes: Resveratrol, found in red grapes and red wine, slows cancer cell development and causes cancer cells to self-destruct. According to new research, resveratrol stays beneficial and may even be more potent after it is digested by the body. The chemical can be found in peanuts, cranberries, and blueberries.
  16. Whole grains: It has been established for years that the consumption of three to five servings of whole-grains grain products, legumes, roots, and tubers per day will give cancer protection. According to studies, there has been an association between grains with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. The less processed the grains, the healthier they are, so choose whole-grain meals wherever possible. Oatmeal, brown rice, maize, rye, kidney beans, and lentils are all nutritious foods. Furthermore, whole grains protect against other chronic diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes. High-refined starch and refined-sugar diets may increase the risk of stomach and bowel cancer.
  17. Chocolate: A dark chocolate bar that has at least 70 percent cocoa is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. It contains catechins, which are also present in tea, that appear to give protection against heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
  18. Berries: Because they are strong in antioxidants and other vitamins, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, strawberries, blueberries, and goji berries are crucial foods that can lower your risk of cancer. Antioxidants are essential elements found in cancer-fighting diets. They aid in the body's defense against free radicals, which may harm and destroy cells. According to the American Cancer Society, people who consume more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables have a decreased risk of some malignancies.
  19. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes and yams are high in phytonutrients known as carotenoids, which include beta and alpha-carotenes. Regular doses of carotenoid-rich foods may help lower the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. Carrots, acorn, or butternut squash and pumpkin are high in carotenoids.
  20. Quinoa: Quinoa is an ancient grain that is naturally gluten-free and is rich in proteins, fiber, minerals, calcium, and an antioxidant phytonutrient that has anti-cancer properties. Quinoa is a healthy alternative to high-protein meals such as beef and fish. Lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are some more options.


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Medically Reviewed on 5/4/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

Nutrition and cancer: https://oralcancerfoundation.org/nutrition/nutrition-and-cancer/

5 foods that help lower your cancer risk: https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/foods-lower-cancerrisk.h29Z1590624.html

7 foods to fight cancer, heart disease and enhance health: https://news.llu.edu/patient-care/7-foods-fight-cancer-heart-disease-and-enhance-health