Marinate your meat.
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The high temperature required to grill meat (and broil and fry, for that matter) creates compounds called heterocyclic amines that are linked to cancer. These compounds may damage DNA enough to spur the growth of tumors in the colon, breast, prostate, and lymph cells. One University of Minnesota study found that eating charred meat regularly can increase pancreatic cancer risk by up to 60 percent. According to research in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, marinating red meat in beer or wine for two hours prior to cooking reduced the amount of these harmful compounds. Kansas State University research found that rubbing rosemary onto uncooked meats blocks the formation of these cancer-causing compounds by up to 100 percent. You can also rub a couple of cut kiwifruit on a low-fat cut of meat as a tenderizer to help protect the meat during grilling from those harmful cancer-causing compounds.
Drink green tea.
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More than 50 studies on the association between tea and cancer risk have been published since 2006, according to the National Cancer Institute. While findings have been inconsistent—partly due to variations in types of tea and differences in preparation and consumption—some papers have found tea drinkers have a reduced risk of breast, ovarian, colon, prostate and lung cancer. The healing powers of green tea have been valued in Asia for thousands of years. Some scientists believe that a chemical in green tea, EGCG, could be one of the most powerful anti-cancer compounds ever discovered due to the high number of antioxidants. These are other health benefits of green tea that you probably never knew about.
Sip a glass of beer or wine.
Alcohol protects against the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is known to cause ulcers and may lead to stomach cancer. A study out of Queens University in Belfast found that moderate amounts of wine, beer, lager, or cider might protect against H. pylori; drinking three to six glasses of wine or one to two half-pints of beer a week showed 11 percent fewer infections. Don’t overdo it: Drinking more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day may increase your risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, liver, and breast cancers. Here's what happens when you drink a glass of wine every night.
Eat wild salmon.
Women who ate fish three times a week or more were 33 percent less likely to have polyps, or growths of tissue in the colon that can turn into cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Fish, especially salmon, is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are likely responsible for the cancer-fighting effects. Australian researchers found that people who ate four or more servings of fish per week were nearly one-third less likely to develop the blood cancers leukemia, myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other studies show a link between eating fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and tuna, as well as shrimp and scallops) with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer in women.
Snack on kiwi.
Kiwi may be little, but they pack a punch of cancer-fighting antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and copper.
Keep your bedroom dark.
Research shows exposure to light at night may increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer in women. Light suppresses the normal production of melatonin, the brain chemical that regulates our sleep-wake cycles, which could increase the release of estrogen-fueled cancer. A study showed breast cancer risk was increased among women who didn’t sleep during the times when their melatonin levels were highest.
Eat less high-fat animal protein.
After tracking food choices of more than 121,000 adults for up to 28 years, Harvard researchers found that people who ate three ounces of red meat every day were about 13 percent more likely to die—often from heart disease or cancer—before the study ended than people who didn’t eat meat. A Yale study found that women who ate the most animal protein had a 70 percent higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, while those who ate diets high in saturated fat increased their risk 90 percent. Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy, choose poultry or fish instead of beef or pork, and use olive oil instead of butter.
Snack on red grapes.
They’re great sources of resveratrol, an antioxidant that may slow cancer growth in the lymph nodes, stomach, breasts, and liver. A 2011 study from The University of Texas Health Science Center found that resveratrol inhibited skin damage that ultimately leads to skin cancer. Although all grape skins contain resveratrol, red and purple grapes have the most. This is why you can never find grape ice cream.
When it comes to cancer-fighting foods, onions are nothing to cry about. Cornell food science researchers found that that onions and shallots have powerful antioxidant properties, as well as compounds that inhibit cell growth, which appear protective against a variety of cancers. The study found that shallots, Western Yellow, pungent yellow, and Northern Red have the richest sources of flavonoids and antioxidants. Not a big fan of onion breath? Although they have less antioxidant power, you can try scallions, Vidalia onions, or chives for a milder taste.
Try to walk 30 minutes a day.
More than two dozen studies have shown that women who exercise have a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than less active women, according to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Moderate exercise lowers blood estrogen levels, a hormone that can affect breast cancer risk. Another study linked four hours a week of walking or hiking with cutting the risk of pancreatic cancer in half. The benefits are probably related to improved insulin metabolism due to the exercise.