7 Foods That Help Prevent Ovarian Cancer
One of the deadliest forms of cancer unique to women is ovarian cancer, which can strike at any age. And while ovarian cancer isn’t nearly the most prevalent cancer that affects women, in terms of sheer numbers, for too many women a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is essentially a death sentence. Even more frustrating is the fact that ovarian cancer often strikes without much warning, with risk factors including genetics, family history, and never having children.
That’s why it’s so important to follow a diet and lifestyle that effectively limits the chances that one will acquire this deadly form of cancer. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to acquire these foods and make them an everyday part of a healthy and satisfying diet.
Loaded down with antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent the development of many forms of cancer, the blueberry is one of a few types of berries that can make a hugely positive impact on the health of the average individual. So, what makes blueberries such effective cancer fighters? It’s because they contain potent phytochemicals known asanthocyanins, the component that actually gives them their unique color.
Put simply, blueberries are packed with cancer-fighting agents, from healthy vitamins (vitamins C and K, specifically) to manganese and dietary fiber. The best part may be the blueberry’s sheer versatility — it makes a great addition to just about any meal, from breakfast cereal to a lunch-time salad to a homemade cobbler.
Like two other leafy greens on this list — kale and endive — spinach contains the cancer-fighting agent kaempferol, which has the potential to kill cancer cells. Spinach is also loaded down with powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that, together, can form an effective team for fighting and preventing cancer.
Arguably, spinach is even more versatile than kale or endive. Because of its relatively mild flavor (both kale and endive have a slightly more bitter taste to them), spinach can be easily added to just about any savory dish, from pasta to stir fry to salad. In fact, spinach has such a nice, gentle flavor that it makes an excellent addition to the average fruit smoothie — just try not to focus too much on the color!
One of the hottest new cancer fighters is the endive, a vegetable you may not have heard a lot about in the past. If that’s the case, know that the endive is often found in salads — it’s got the taste and texture of a mild cabbage and tends to have a slightly bitter flavor.
So, what sets the endive apart from other vegetables you may not find in your lunch-time salad? Some studies have shown that eating it regularly can significantly reduce a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer. That’s because it contains a natural cancer fighting agent known as kaempferol, which is actually capable of killing cancer cells. For these reasons, consider adding endive to your next salad.
Like the endive, which makes a great addition to just about any salad, kale also contains the cancer-fighting agent kaempferol, which many experts believe can effectively kill cancer cells. Unlike endive, however, which has only recently emerged as a popular choice for keeping cancer at bay, kale has been known as a “super food” for some time now.
It’s also worth noting that kale is a little more durable than endive. Not only does it make a great addition to the average dinner salad, but it can be baked to form delicious kale chips or roasted with oil and other vegetables to form a savory mixed vegetable medley. Kale is also loaded with powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and iron, making it very deserving of its lofty reputation.
Along with garlic, onions are one of the least desirable foods to eat on a hot date. Why? Because ingesting them can cause the breath to develop a rather potent and smelly aroma that most people find at least a little off-putting.
On the flip side, while eating onions might not leave the best impression on your date, they can do wonders for your health and significantly reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. Specifically, onions contain a range of cancer-fighting agents, from apigenin, anthocyanin, and myricetin to quercetin. And if you’re wondering which type of onion to eat, technically red onions have significantly more of the cancer-fighting agents found in the somewhat sweeter yellow or white onions. As for how it’s prepared, that really doesn’t matter: cooked or raw, onions can do a lot to reduce your risk of getting ovarian cancer.
If you like the taste, fish is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Not only is it packed with protein, but it’s generally very low in fat and calories, though that depends a lot on the type of fish you’re eating. That said, even fish that’s somewhat higher in fat, such as salmon, is still quite healthy for you because it may be packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to boost brain health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other serious ailments.
But that’s not all: fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids can also help prevent the development of cancers by limiting the blood supply to cancer cells. The only thing to keep in mind is that many of the types of fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids — from salmon to sardines, mackerel, and herring — also tend to be high in mercury, which can be poisonous if consumed in high amounts. That doesn’t mean you should avoid these types of fish; instead, just limit eating them to a couple times each week.
Given how light and refreshing they taste, it may be hard to imagine that tomatoes are actually very effective in preventing the development of ovarian cancer. That’s because the tomato contains the anti-angiogenic agent lycopene, a pigment that gives red fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors. It’s also an antioxidant that fights free radicals which can play a significant role in the development of cancers like ovarian cancer.
Tomatoes are widely available in most parts of North America and very affordable. Beyond that, they’re also extremely versatile, making a solid addition to just about any meal. In addition to enjoying tomatoes in your pasta sauce and chili, try adding them to salads and sandwiches. Or, you can combine them with some mild cheese, basil, olive oil and cracked peppercorn to form a delicious and light snack.