8 Foods That May Help Prevent Cancer

Foods you should add to your menu for disease prevention

Foods you should add to your menu for disease prevention

Certain foods seem to have anticancer properties and it is only recently that scientific tools have advanced to the point that we can understand at the molecular level why. 


Take the case of the cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower. “Scientists have shown that when these vegetables are ingested, they break down into chemicals such as indoles that actually help repair damaged DNA and also help reduce inflammation,” according to Laura Goetz, MD, a Scripps Clinic surgeon. “DNA damage and inflammation are key steps in triggering cancer.” 


These eight foods are rich in cancer-fighting nutrients and have a number of health benefits.

Fish and poultry

A plate of white fish with rosemary and cherry tomatoes on a bed of baby spinach represents a healthy diet that may help prevent cancer. As seen in San Diego Health Magazine.

Fish and poultry

Look for lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish to get the benefits of the protein while avoiding the cancer risk of red meats.

Dairy

A bowl of yogurt represents how adding dairy to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Dairy

Low-fat organic yogurt and kefir (make sure there’s no added sugar) contain probiotics that fight inflammation.

Fruits

A group of fresh pears represents how adding fruits to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Fruits

Rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, fruit can help you keep off excess weight — an effective way to ward off cancer — and reduce inflammation.

Nuts and seeds

A group of almonds represents how adding nuts to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Nuts and seeds

Chia seeds contain a multitude of nutrients, calcium, iron, and magnesium among them, plus omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

Vegetables

A group of Brussels sprouts represents how adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Vegetables

Kale, broccoli, spinach, and collard greens are rich in vitamins A, C, and K. One cup of kale has a fifth of your daily recommended vitamins A and C.

Whole grains

A bowl of quinoa represents how adding whole grains to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Whole grains

Give quinoa a try. The South American food packs double the protein of oats, plus antioxidants, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals.

Legumes

A bowl of lentils represents how adding legumes to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Legumes

Legumes are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and because of their high protein content, can serve as a low-fat, low-calorie meat substitute.

Olive oil

Olive oil being poured into a glass dish represents how adding healthy oils to your diet may help prevent cancer.

Olive oil

Though high in calories, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, believed to lower the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol.

San Diego city leader Kris Michell is featured on the cover of the June 2018 issue of San Diego Health Magazine.

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.