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AARP The Magazine

Eat to Beat Cancer

Add these superfoods and drinks to your regular diet to reduce your risk

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Curcumin may protect against brain tumors. — Kang Kim


Laboratory studies have found that curcumin — the main ingredient in the spice turmeric, which gives curry its characteristic yellow color and sizzle — can fight against cancerous changes in healthy cells as well as slow the growth of malignant cells. Some evidence suggests that curcumin may also offer protection against brain tumors.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Lycopene in tomatoes can prevent malignant cancerous cells from multiplying. — Kang Kim


Teeming with the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes may block cancer by, among other things, stopping malignant cells from multiplying and by causing them to destroy themselves. Although tomatoes in almost all forms are full of nutrition, lycopene is more easily available to the body in cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Garlic seems effective in warding off colon cancer. — Kang Kim

Garlic and Onions

The compounds that give garlic and onions their strong flavor appear to stave off cancer by neutralizing carcinogenic substances and speeding the repair of damaged DNA. Like many cancer-fighting foods, garlic seems especially effective against digestive-tract cancers, including those of the esophagus and colon.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Milk may help maintain a healthy weight. — Kang Kim


The calcium in dairy products may neutralize potential carcinogens, particularly those found in processed meats. Not all studies agree that milk lowers cancer risk. But recent reports do show that milk drinkers are less likely to become obese. And there is evidence that maintaining a healthy weight protects against cancer.

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