Foods that fight cancer

June 21, 2016

No single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. But strong evidence does show that a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans helps lower risk for many cancers.


In laboratory studies, many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects. Yet evidence suggests it is the synergy of compounds working together in the overall diet that offers the strongest cancer protection.


According to AICR/WCRF’s second expert report and its updates, carrying excess body fat increases the risk of ten cancers. Vegetables and fruits are low in calories, which help us get to and stay a healthy weight. Whole grains and beans are rich in fiber and moderate in calories, which also help in weight management efforts.

That is why AICR recommends filling at least 2/3 of your plate with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.

Research on foods that fight cancer – and that may also aid cancer survival – is ongoing and active.

Here is a partial list of the foods we at AICR get asked about most often. Click each one to learn what current science tells us about its potential role in cancer protection. You’ll also find links to recent AICR articles, cooking tips, recipes and more.


  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli & Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Cherries
  • Coffee
  • Cranberries
  • laxseed
  • Grapefruit
  • Legumes (Dry Beans, Peas & Lentils)
  • Soy
  • Squash (Winter)
  • Tea
  • Walnuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Berries
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Grapes and Grape Juice
  • Tomatoes
  • Acai Berries
  • Blackberries & Raspberries
  • Carrots
  • Chili Peppers
  • Citrus Fruits (oranges/lemons)
  • Kale and Other Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Pomegranates
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon & Other Melons

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