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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)

Eat an apple a day. It may help you prevent cancer. — Kang Kim


En español l Apples contain at least two kinds of cancer-inhibiting compounds: flavonoids and phenolic acids. Together they may protect against damage to cells that can trigger malignancies; they may also prevent emerging cancer cells from dividing any further. If apples aren't your favorite food, try citrus fruits and berries.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Consuming nuts may reduce your risk of dying from cancer. — Kang Kim


According to a recent Harvard study, a serving of nuts a day (roughly a handful) helps ward off deaths from both heart disease and cancer. "People who ate a serving of nuts five or more times a week saw an 11 percent reduction in deaths due to cancer," says Ying Bao, an epidemiologist who led the study.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Protect colon cells by eating more beans and lentils. — Kang Kim

Beans and Lentils

Loaded with fiber, beans and lentils contain antioxidants, phytochemicals and folate, which protect colon cells while stimulating bowel function. Soybeans, in particular, contain genistein, a powerful compound that scientists are investigating as a possible treatment for prostate, lung and colorectal cancer.

Superfoods (Kang Kim)

Drink a cup of green tea to protect against prostate cancer. — Kang Kim

Tea and Coffee

Ingredients in tea and coffee may protect against a variety of cancers. The antioxidants in coffee seem to be especially effective against endometrial cancer. And green tea seems protective against prostate cancer. But make sure to let it cool a bit before drinking: Very hot beverages may increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

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