We keep reading about antioxidants and their importance in preventing cancer. Many of us are just worried about losing those extra pounds, not thinking about the overall health of our bodies in the long run. Luckily, there are foods that can do both: help to fight cancer and help us to lose weight simultaneously. Research has shown that eating too many processed foods can contribute to cancer, just as they can contribute to weight gain. Cutting these foods out of your diet will not only help you lose weight, but they will also help fight cancer. Eat more of the following foods as well:
- Whole grain foods. These foods are a great alternative to “bad carbohydrates”. Instead of eating foods made with white flour, look for darker flour foods, like wheat breads, brown rice, and whole grain pasta. They have more fiber than their white counterparts, helping to fill you up and possibly lowering the amounts of cancer-contributing hormones such as estrogen in the body.
- Beans. Beans are full of fiber, protein and good carbohydrates. They give you energy and provide a good source of antioxidants at the same time. They’re great to add to dishes such as salads. It’s best to use them dry, but if you must buy canned beans, rinse them under water first to remove added salt.
- Nuts. Raw, unsalted nuts are a great source of protein and the good type of fat, as long as you don’t overdo them. They provide fat-soluble vitamins, nutrients and fat that the body needs to survive.
- Fruits and Vegetables. The importance of fruits and vegetables diet can’t be stressed enough. Not only do they help to fill you up and lose weight, but they provide vitamins and minerals our bodies need to fight diseases such as cancer. Experts recommend getting five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Soy. Soy is found in foods like soybeans, tofu and dairy alternatives such as soy yogurt or soy milk. It contains anticarcinogenic compounds (a fancy way to say it contains cancer-fighting ingredients).
- Fish. Eating fish with a little bit of fat, such as sardines, mackerel and salmon, provides the good type of fat we all need in our diet and also protein. Experts recommend eating this type of fish twice a week to fight cancer.
- Herbs and Spices. Herbs and spices can not only spice up a boring, bland diet, but they can also fight cancer. Spices such as garlic, rosemary and turmeric can replace butter and salt in the foods you eat.
- Tea. Green and black tea has been shown to have antioxidant properties. They help detoxify the body and prevent cancer cells from dividing. One to two cups per day is recommended.
- Flaxseed. Consuming one to two tablespoons of flaxseed daily provides an antioxidant effect. You can add it to salads, soups and other foods without even noticing the addition.