For both cancer prevention and cancer treatment, what you eat is important to your health. According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. This damage can increase your risk for cancer, which is why experts sing the praises of antioxidants when it comes to preventing cancer.
As for fighting cancer, antioxidants are still thought to be important to your health. The evidence of cancer-fighting properties is less conclusive, but a recent study from Thomas Jefferson University suggests that antioxidants in your diet can actually be quite beneficial as you go through treatment.
In addition to cancer-fighting goodness, antioxidants can also boost your immune system, reduce cardiovascular disease, help with eyesight and more! While antioxidant supplements are available, researchers believe that it is more beneficial to simply incorporate antioxidant-rich foods into your diet.
So where you can you get these antioxidants? Try the foods below for that extra boost:
Legumes – All beans are good for you, but the more colorful beans are even better. Peanuts, pinto beans and soybeans are also high in antioxidants.
Berries – Whether you prefer blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries, scientists have determined that berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits.
Other Fresh Fruits – Other fresh fruits, such as pomegranates, grapes, oranges, plum, prunes, pineapples and grapefruits also contain antioxidants.
Dark, Leafy Greens – Dark greens such as kale and spinach are loaded with protein, as well as antioxidants like vitamin C, lutein (helps protect your eyes and skin from UV damage) and zeaxanthin (prevents free-radical damage to the retina and the lens of the eye).
Other Veggies – Leafy greens aren’t your only key to antioxidants, also try brussels sprouts, broccoli flowers, red bell peppers, eggplant, onions, beets and artichokes.
Nuts – Walnuts have the most antioxidants of the bunch, but almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans are also a great snack.
Spices – Some spices are rich with antioxidants, so reach for cloves, cinnamon and oregano when you’re cooking, but maybe not at the same time.