Cancer: The four nutrients proven to help fight cancer – what are they?

Cancer is a worldwide epidemic taking millions of lives each year. Latest global cancer data states that one in five men and one in six women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime and one in eight men and one in 11 women die from the disease. With these worrying statistics, finding ways to help stave off the disease is crucial. Scientists have revealed the four nutrients that should be part of everyone’s diet.


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Food scientist Dr Vincent Candrawinata said as many as 35 percent of cancers are linked to dietary factors.

With no single food able to prevent the disease, the right combination can make all the difference.

Dr Vincent explains the cancer-beating nutrients needed in one’s diet that could cut a person’s risk.

Antioxidant rich apples

According to Dr Vincent, a diet rich in phenolic antioxidants is important to help rid the body of free radicals before they are able to do damage to the body.

Dr Vincent said: “Phenolics are plant-based compounds that when activated in their absorbable forms may help prevent inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and infections.”

Scientific evidence has shown one of the most promising sources of phenolics has been found in apples.

Foods rich in folate

Folate is one of the B vitamins naturally present in many foods and its primary job is to help create new red blood cells.

Dr Vincent said: “Folate, better known as B9, should be included as part of a healthy diet as it many help protect against cancers of the colon rectum and breast.

“The best way to get folate is not from a tablet but by eating enough fruits, vegetables and enriched grain products.

“Naturally occurring folate is better absorbed by the body.”


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Foods high in fibre

Eating food that is high in fibre is essential for good digestion and a healthy gut.

Dr Vincent said: “High fibre foods can also hep to prevent some cancers. Some studies have shown a positive link between eating a diet that is high in legumes and a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.”

Sources of fibre include dark leafy vegetables like bok choy, lettuce, spinach as well as cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Foods with essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are types of ‘good fat’ and essential for maintaining excellent health.

Dr Vincent explained this group of nutrients, Omega 3 and 6, can only be ingested through food and should be included as part of a diet as a preventative measure.

Foods high in essential fatty acids include oily fish like salmon, sardines, trout, flaxseeds, walnuts and soybean.

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