Superfoods are predominantly plant-based but there are some animal protein and dairy items too, which are powerhouses of nutrition. These food items have been increasingly in-demand over the last decade as people have been made aware of their benefits. Some plant-based superfoods have shown remarkable results in preventing damage to our cell tissues and thereby are believed to directly and positively reduce the risk of cancer.
These vegetables and fruits, marked as superfoods, also have a strong chance of reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Here are some of them given below:
Broccoli attained almost a cult-like status among ingredients once it was established that it contains sulforaphane — a compound that is believed to be effective in fighting cancer chemicals. Studies suggest that broccoli may go a long way in reducing the risk of breast, colorectal, prostate and colon cancer. The vegetable can also reduce the risk of bladder, liver neck, stomach esophagus, and lung cancer. Among the cruciferous vegetables, it has the highest concentration of sulforaphane along with many phytochemicals, vitamins, and calcium. It is recommended that an adult person should consume broccoli as regularly as possible and they can use them in sauces, soups, salads, or just steam it.
Tomatoes contain lycopene — a mineral that has proven to fight sex-hormone related cancer like breast and prostate cancer. Tomatoes have shown results in reducing tumor sizes, cardiovascular diseases and improving vision. Including tomatoes in everyday cooking, in sauces, curries, salsa, and gravy is a good idea since it is available throughout the year.
Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and cranberry can also be called nature’s gift for fighting cancer cells. They contain antioxidants and phytochemicals called ellagic acid. This combination helps the body to produce enzymes that destroy cancer-causing cells. Berries help prevent and reduce the risk of breast, skin, and esophagus cancers. The flavonoids found in these berries help reduce the risk of lung cancer. You should buy locally available berries when in season and use frozen berries as a snack.
It is no secret that the beta-carotene found in carrots have very strong cancer-fighting properties. They protect cell membranes from any kind of damage. Boiled, steamed or sautéed carrots are more effective in reducing the risk of cancers of the breast, stomach, esophagus mouth, pharynx, larynx, and cervical cancer, as compared to raw or fully cooked ones.
5. Extra virgin olive oil
Oleocanthal, a compound, found in non-refined olive oil is what makes it a superfood. This compound is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial. Due to this, studies have shown that olive oil has definite anticancer properties than any other non-refined oil. Extra virgin olive oil, which has more oleocanthal than refined olive oil, has higher chances of being able to reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Apart from these top superfoods, other plant-based superfoods include olive oil, all cruciferous vegetables, and citrus fruits. A balanced diet that has at least one of the items in every meal is recommended for every person in the family, both young and old.
It is important to remember that no superfood can miraculously reduce the risk of cancer. Overeating or binging on any superfood is heavily discouraged. A conscious decision to eat healthy, incorporating superfoods along with other essential dietary components is the best way to take care of your health.