What you eat can drastically affect many aspects of your health, including your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Add some of these healthy foods to your diet to help prevent cancer and keep other diseases at bay.

food that helps to prevent cancer

Dr. David Jockers

Broccoli: Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a plant compound found in cruciferous vegetables that may have potent anticancer properties. One test-tube study showed that sulforaphane reduced the size and number of breast cancer cells by up to 75%. One analysis of 35 studies showed that eating more cruciferous vegetables was associated with a lower risk of colorectal and colon cancer. Including broccoli with a few meals per week may come with some cancer-fighting benefits.

Carrots: Several studies have found that eating more carrots is linked to a decreased risk of certain types of cancer. For example, an analysis looked at the results of five studies and concluded that eating carrots may reduce the risk of stomach cancer by up to 26%. Another study found that a higher intake of carrots was associated with 18% lower odds of developing prostate cancer. One study analyzed the diets of 1,266 participants with and without lung cancer. It found that current smokers who did not eat carrots were three times as likely to develop lung cancer, compared to those who ate carrots more than once per week.

Berries: Berries are high in anthocyanins, plant pigments that have antioxidant properties and may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer. In one human study, 25 people with colorectal cancer were treated with bilberry extract for seven days, which was found to reduce the growth of cancer cells by 7%. Another small study gave freeze-dried black raspberries to patients with oral cancer and showed that it decreased levels of certain markers associated with cancer progression. another animal study showed that giving rats a berry extract was found to inhibit several biomarkers of cancer.

Nuts: According to studies, nuts may be linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer. For instance, a study looked at the diets of 19,386 people and found that eating a greater amount of nuts was associated with a decreased risk of dying from cancer. Another study followed 30,708 participants for up to 30 years and found that eating nuts regularly was associated with a decreased risk of colorectal, pancreatic and endometrial cancers. Other studies have found that specific types of nuts may be linked to a lower cancer risk.

Olive oil: Olive oil is loaded with health benefits, so it’s no wonder it’s one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet. Several studies have even found that a higher intake of olive oil may help protect against cancer. Another study looked at the cancer rates in 28 countries around the world and found that areas with a higher intake of olive oil had decreased rates of colorectal cancer. Swapping out other oils in your diet for olive oil is a simple way to take advantage of its health benefits. You can drizzle it over salads and cooked vegetables, or try using it in your marinades for meat, fish or poultry.