[caption id="attachment_121" align="alignright" width="300"] Eat these delicious foods to reduce your cancer risk.[/caption] From beverages with benefits, to little green giants for your salad, new research shows that your fridge holds the secrets to reducing your risk of cancer. "All the studies on cancer and nutrition point to eating plant-based foods for their phytonutrients and other special compounds," says Richard Béliveau, PhD, chair in the prevention and treatment of cancer at the University of Québec at Montreal and author of “Foods to Fight Cancer.” Find out how cancer-fighting cuisine can greatly increase your chances for a long, healthy, cancer-free life! 1. Embrace the brassicas: Brassica plants come from the mustard family. They are also commonly known as cruciferous vegetables, called crucifers because their flowers have four petals arranged in the shape of a cross. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and many leafy greens such as arugula and Swiss chard. Crucifers offer more health benefits than almost any other family of fruits and vegetables. The problem is that many have a bitter or spicy taste, which some people find too strong. Crucifers are rich in antioxidants, and are considered amongst the most powerful foods you can eat to guard against cancer. That’s a good reason to find a few you like and add them to your daily diet. [caption id="attachment_132" align="alignright" width="300"] Garlic and Onions: Lifesaving medicine[/caption] 2. Align yourself with alliums: Garlic, onions, shallots, scallions, chives and leeks are called “alliums” and have been celebrated throughout history as lifesaving medicine. They were used to treat infected wounds, boost energy, relieve colic and croup, lower fevers, and as a general tonic for colds, sore throat, and earache. Allium vegetables have been shown to decrease the risk of gastric cancer, endometrial cancer, and colorectal cancer. And if that’s not enough, garlic was called “Russian penicillin” before penicillin became widely available during World War II. It seems that one milligram of allium, the active ingredient in garlic, is equivalent to 15 international units of penicillin, and three garlic cloves contain the antibacterial activity of a standard dose of penicillin! 3. Berries are beautiful! Not only do raspberries, strawberries and blueberries improve your skin and eyesight, but they are powerful anticancer fighters. According to Gary D. Stoner, PhD, professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, “all berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients, but black raspberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which slow down the growth of premalignant cells and keep new blood vessels from forming, and potentially feeding a cancerous tumor.” So snack on a handful of berries for a sweet, cancer-fighting boost that will also trim your waistline and add a glow to your skin. 4. Terrific tomatoes: This juicy red fruit is an excellent source of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue. Lycopene was found to stop endometrial cancer cell growth. Endometrial cancer causes nearly 8,000 deaths a year. Lycopene also helps fight endometrial, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. But instead of eating them raw, tomatoes are one of the vegetables that provide bigger benefits when you cook them, because the heating process increases the amount of lycopene your body is able to absorb. Think tomato sauce, over spaghetti squash…instead of on top of grain-based pastas. 5. Beverages with benefits: Growing evidence shows that green tea can reduce inflammation, enhance immune function, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Studies suggest that green tea can have a potent impact on cancer, decreasing the risk by as much as 18 percent for every daily cup consumed. On the opposite side of the scale, drinking as little as two alcoholic drinks per day is shown to increase colorectal cancer. So go for the green, and go easy on the spirits. 6. Nutty nutrients: Selenium may protect us from cancer growth by controlling cell death, or apoptosis. Apoptosis is essential for healthy tissue function, because your body kills off very damaged or mutated cells to help prevent disease. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, which may prove beneficial for fighting cancer. You only need 2 or 3 a day to get your daily requirement. Sunflower seeds, turkey, cod and tuna also have smaller amounts of selenium, but nothing beats the mighty Brazil nut! 7. Magical mushrooms: Edible mushrooms have been used for centuries for their healing and rejuvenating properties, but they are best-loved for their anti-cancer benefits. Most mushrooms have some cancer-fighting properties, but several are stars at inhibiting cancerous growths. Shiitake, Maitake and Reishi mushrooms are all rich in trace nutrients and have legendary anti-cancer abilities, which are now being proved in the lab. In Japan, many of these mushrooms are used in cancer treatments. Add a variety of mushrooms to your salads, rice or protein dishes. They not only add flavor, but give you an anti-cancer immunity boost every day. Buy organic mushrooms whenever possible, because mushrooms are very porous and easily absorb pesticides and fungicides from the soil. Note: Reishi has a woody, bitter taste so it’s best to take it as a tincture.