Steam your broccoli.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
Broccoli is a cancer-preventing super food—one you should eat frequently. But take note: A study done in 2008 by Italian researchers found that steamed broccoli contains more glucosinolate (the healthy components of the vegetable) than boiled, fried, or microwaved broccoli. Nutrients leach into the cooking water instead of remaining in the vegetable, according to the Harvard Family Health Guide.
Eat Brazil nuts.Xan/Shutterstock
They’re rich in selenium, a trace mineral found in soil that convinces cancer cells to commit suicide and helps cells repair their DNA. A Harvard study of more than 1,000 men with prostate cancer found those with the highest blood levels of selenium were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced disease over 13 years than men with the lowest levels. And a dramatic five-year study conducted at Cornell University and the University of Arizona showed that 200 micrograms of selenium daily—the amount in just two unshelled Brazil nuts—resulted in 63 percent fewer prostate tumors, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung malignancies, and a 39 percent overall decrease in cancer deaths. Make sure to get selenium from food, not supplements. Research shows that men who consumed selenium supplements actually had an increased prostate cancer risk. This is why nuts are the best disease fighter in your pantry. That means they aren’t only good for preventing cancer.
Eat garlic.Michael Courtney/Shutterstock
This pungent herb contains allyl sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to help the body get rid of cancer-causing chemicals and help cause cancer cells to die naturally, a process called apoptosis. The Iowa Women’s Health Study showed that women who consumed the highest amounts of garlic had a 50 percent lower risk of colon cancer compared with women who ate the least. Try out these surprising ways to use garlic that will improve your life.