5 Foods that fight cancer

Wild claims or truly special? The truth about anti-cancer superfoods…

Pomegranates

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Loved for their polyphenols (found chiefly in their juice) pomegranates have been shown to slow the rise of PSA levels in prostate cancer patients when compared to those taking a placebo. Dig the seeds out of their shell and sprinkle on savoury dishes as well as sweet for middle-eastern colour and flavour.

Brassicas

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Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and cabbage are frequently dubbed superfoods and celebrated for their anti-cancer properties. And while their anti-cancer magic worked better in the lab and on animals than on humans, these leafy vegetables still pack a powerful punch. They’re loaded with vitamins and folic acid and are most delicious raw or stir-fried.

Tip: roasting uncooked cauliflower florets changes their flavour for the better.

Green tea

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Again, like the pomegranates, we’re talking about polyphenols as the link between green tea and cancer prevention. The downside? Drinking too much can irritate your stomach and cause sleeplessness.

Garlic

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Garlic is a powerful food with chemicals that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Anti-cancer claims are exaggerated – with no real proof to back them up – but garlic is nevertheless a powerful food with chemicals that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also adds flavour to food and can tantalise a jaded post-cancer palate.

Tomatoes

Ripe tomatoes on a wooden table. Shallow depth of field

Ripe tomatoes on a wooden table. Shallow depth of field

The lycopene in tomatoes has been linked with lowering levels of prostate cancer and skin cancer – but studies tend to focus on lycopene in supplements, and it’s unclear how beneficial eating a lot of tomatoes would actually be. Other lycopene-rich foods include watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit.

For more information read The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook, £19.99 kylebooks.com

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