It may seem like the mainstream dietary recommendations for living a long and healthy life are constantly changing, as foods that were once considered healthy suddenly go out of fashion and once-taboo ones become nutritionally acceptable. The USDA’s dietary guidelines have evolved over the years since they were first introduced in 1894 – mainly to incorporate new scientific literature and advancements in the field of nutrition – so it’s no wonder that people trying to eat healthy are often confused.
Luckily, certain nutritional guidelines haven’t changed.. A plant-based diet that consists primarily of whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes has consistently proven to be the healthiest way to eat, and is associated with a lower risk of cancer in countless studies – not to mention a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
In order to determine the foods most likely to reduce the risk of cancer, 24/7 Tempo reviewed numerous scientific studies and meta-analyses, as well as reports by the American Institute for Cancer Research.
The results, as expected, include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables as well as grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These plant foods contain necessary fiber, nutrients, and phytochemicals that all contribute to our health and fight cancer in different ways. Some are full of antioxidants that prevent cell damage that can turn cancerous, while others contain compounds that can inhibit the formation of tumors or kill existing cancer cells. (Here are some easy ways to boost your immune system.)
Because no single food has all the nutrients we need, it’s important to eat a varied diet that includes as many of these foods as possible, and more. While choosing a healthier diet can’t guarantee cancer prevention, much less cure cancer, it can reduce your risk. (Early detection is also key, of course. These are 20 common symptoms that can mean cancer.)