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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)

Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting substance. — Kang Kim


Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are packed with sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting substance so potent that researchers are testing it as a drug. "Sulforaphane is delivered to almost every tissue in the body," says Trygve O. Tollefsbol, a professor in the biology department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Kale has been shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells. — Kang Kim

Dark, Leafy Greens

Leafy greens — including arugula, kale, spinach and romaine — abound in antioxidants called carotenoids, which in laboratory studies have been shown to inhibit the growth of a variety of cancer cells, including skin, lung, stomach and certain kinds of breast cancer. Spinach may even block carcinogens from cooked meat.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Help prevent cancer cell growth by eating red grapes. — Kang Kim

Red Grapes

Red grapes (and red wine) are loaded with resveratrol, which inhibits cancer-cell growth and causes cancer cells to self-destruct. According to recent findings, resveratrol remains effective — and may be more powerful — after it's metabolized by the body. The compound is found in peanuts, cranberries and blueberries, too.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Whole grains may be linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. — Kang Kim

Whole grains

For years, we've been urged to eat three to five servings of whole grains a day. There's good reason: They are linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer, a 2013 Danish study of 108,000 people has found. What's more, whole grains offer protection against other chronic conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

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