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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Nutrition » Article

Antioxidant Foods That Fight Cancer

By Chris Chenoweth

The cells in our bodies are constantly at war with substances called free radicals. Free radicals are scavengers that cause incredible damage to our bodies. Some free radicals are made inside the body, while others are caused by the food we ingest and the air we breathe.

Antioxidants are elements that defend our bodies from free radical damage by destroying the damage they cause to our body's cells. They also turn the free radicals into waste by-products, resulting in their elimination from the body.

Since antioxidants prevent cellular damage, considered to be the conduit for cancer, and other diseases and conditions, they are vital to our body's good health. Antioxidants also have the amazing ability to repair previous damage to cells.

Antioxidants are extracted from food like fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. The best way to keep our bodies unfriendly to free radicals and other toxins is to eat a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods.

The foods listed below are antioxidant-rich foods:

+BERRIES: Berries are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. The best sources are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

+BROCCOLI: If there was a top superfood in the world, it would be broccoli. It has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk. One broccoli spear has three times more fiber than a slice of whole grain bread. As a cruciferous vegetable it contains antioxidants that break down estrogen, reducing the risk of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers. It is also rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease and other types of cancer.

+CARROTS: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a potent cancer-fighting antioxidant. Beta-carotene reduces the risk of bladder, lung, breast, and stomach cancers, heart disease, and slows down the development of arthritis. (Cooked carrots have considerably higher levels of antioxidants than uncooked.)

+CITRUS: Citrus fruits contain hundreds of nutrients including high levels of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps to support the immune system and prevents free radical damage. Due to the multitude of vitamin C's health benefits, the consumption of fruits high in this nutrient reduces the risk of death from heart disease, stroke and cancer. It lowers cholesterol and helps fight infection. Citrus fruits are the most detoxifying and healthy fruits.

+GARLIC: Garlic is one of the oldest known medicinal plants and its powerful healing properties have been known for thousands of years. The sulfur compounds that give garlic its strong odor are considered to be the source of its healing benefits. It enhances the immune system and liver, improves digestion, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer by scavenging free radicals, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It slows hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and decreases symptoms of poor circulation, fatigue and headaches. Garlic also helps to prevent blood clots from forming, reducing the possibility of strokes.

+RED GRAPES: Red grapes are rich in quercetin and resveratrol, powerful antioxidants that boost heart health, protect against cancer, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, strokes, and inflammatory diseases.

+SOY: Whole soy foods are a great source of protein and contain other nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins, essential omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and iron. Foods containing soy protein are a healthy alternative to meats and other animal products that contain cholesterol and saturated fat because they provide all the amino acids that people need to stay healthy. Soy contains iso-flavones that alleviates pre-menstrual and menopause symptoms, reduces cholesterol levels, and can lower the risk of osteoporosis and breast, colon and prostate cancers.

+TEA: Tea can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and degenerative diseases. Both green tea and black tea contain high concentrations of antioxidants.

+TOMATOES: Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers. Tomatoes also help boost the body's immune system, prevent macular degeneration and assist in maintaining mental functions as we age. (Cooked tomatoes are preferable, since heat allows more desirable antioxidants in tomatoes to be made available to the body.)

+WHOLE GRAINS: Whole grains not only contain fiber and traditional nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and iron, but also numerous disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants. A diet rich in whole grains boosts immunity, reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and breast, colon, liver, and prostate cancers.
About the Author
Chris Chenoweth is the author of the DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME, HEALTH & MONEY GUIDE, 500 pages of household tips, home remedies, diet and nutrition information, health issues and 1000's of recipes!

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