The foods you eat can have a large impact on your cancer risk. In fact, Mother Nature has laced many fruits, vegetables and spices with the same molecules that are being studied in connection with anti-cancer drugs. Read this list to see which foods you should stock up on.
Papayas contain the phytochemical lycopene, the same cancer fighter found in tomatoes. But papaya has another cancer fighter, the cartenoid beta-cyrptoxanthin. Carotenoids fight free radicals, helping protect cells and membranes against damage and disease. Studies have shown that eating a papaya or more a week can lower your cervical cancer risk.
Shrimp are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which starve tumor cells and help fight cancer. Studies show that eating 8 or 9 shrimp a day can reduce your breast cancer risk. Instead of shrimp, you can substitute any seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids; options include salmon, haddock, flounder and sardines.
These nuts contain proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and prevent cancer cells from dividing. In some studies, it's been shown that eating 12 cashews a day can reduce your colon cancer risk.
The rich red color of beets actually comes from the cancer-fighting antioxidant betalain. Betalains starve tumors and hinder cell division. Researchers have shown that adding a quarter cup of beets, about 3 or 4 beet slices, to your daily diet can reduce your kidney cancer risk.