The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has published that tobacco smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer in both men and women in the country. Not only that, the maximum number of lung cancer-related deaths occurs among smokers. This is because the risk of developing the condition increases by 30% in smokers compared to non-smokers. Unfortunately, passive smoking is also one of the primary causes of deaths due to lung cancer.
However, according to research, there may be certain food items that help prevent the development of lung cancer, especially in smokers. while the condition cannot be prevented fully, its chances can be reduced by controlling risk factors. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, believe lung cancer may be averted, or at least the risk can be reduced if individuals who smoke regularly include two or more servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, pulses, and nuts in their diet every day. The nine types of foods that help reduce the risk of developing lung cancer are:
- Black, green and white tea, all contain flavonoids — a kind of plant compound — that helps prevent cancer. Flavanoids are antioxidants that fight cell damage caused by carcinogens. So, include a steaming cup of tea with the morning breakfast to help prevent cancer.
- Dark chocolate that has 70% cocoa also contains the phytochemical flavonoids. Having a small portion of dark chocolate regularly results in multiple health benefits according to research.
- Fresh fruits like oranges and lemons help in iron absorption. They are a storehouse of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and are equally rich in folate and potassium. Consuming these strengthens the immune system and is believed to block the growth of cancer cells.
- Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries contain vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. Research conducted by the University of Louisville on blueberries and black raspberries shows that they may not only help reduce the abnormal growth of lung cancer tumors but also may promote the death of existing cancer cells.
- Grapefruit, tomatoes, guava, and kiwi are abundant in vitamin C and antioxidants like lycopene and lutein that have anti-cancer properties. Antioxidants strengthen the immune system and lower the risk of lung cancer. You could have a bowl of fresh fruits, make a healthy smoothie, or add fruits to your bowl of oats and muesli every day to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
- Foods that are cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale or watercress can help prevent lung cancer if had every day This is because they contain phytochemicals that block active cancer-causing agents.
- Onions, red peppers, carrots, plums, radish, red cabbage, papayas, chili peppers, winter squash, and sweet potatoes contain carotenoids. They thus protect the lungs against cancer. Use them liberally in salads, or puree them into delicious soup for the winter months.
- Selenium is another lung cancer-fighting mineral found in Brazil nuts, sunflower, chia and flax seeds, tofu, whole-wheat pasta, oats and brown rice, lima and pinto beans, and shiitake and button mushrooms. Include these in the weekly meal plan as salad or soup toppings.
- Vitamin E-rich foods like almonds, walnuts, avocados, and wheat germ help keep the lungs strong and lower the risk of lung cancer by up to 20%, especially in smokers.