37 Cancer Fighting Foods & Drinks

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37 Cancer Fighting Foods-for prevention & recovery.
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases, and there are so many different forms that it can feel overwhelming to try to prevent them all. If you’ve already been diagnosed as having cancer, it becomes crucial to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to help battle it back and support the body during treatment. Here are dozens of foods that have each shown to be beneficial in the fight against cancer, and preventing it from happening in the first place.

Red Wine

There is a chemical specifically in red wine that shows promise for being a cancer fighter. It’s called resveratrol and you may have heard of it, as it has been popping up not just in red wine, but on supplement claiming to contain it. For years doctors have been recommending a glass of red wine per day for heart health. Only recently has it been discovered that there may be anti-cancer benefits. Many pills out there claim to have far more resveratrol in them than red wine has, but be sure to check the facts first.


Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants, more so than other teas because it doesn’t undergo as much processing, leaving all of these important cancer fighting minerals intact. It’s worth the time and effort to incorporate this into your diet because it doesn’t just help prevent certain cancers from forming, it can help battle them back if you’ve already got them. The good news is that it’s not just one or two studies that have confirmed this, and it has also withstood the test of time and been verified on repeated tests. It’s a bonafide ally against cancer and also provides plenty of additional benefits.


You’ll never look at this simple root the same way again once you hear how it’s able to help you on your quest to stay battle back cancer. In fact, research shows that ginger inhibits breast cancer in ways that chemotherapy can’t. Pretty powerful, huh? It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s working to help with cancer in two distinct ways. Scientists are even hopeful that it can help with some of the harder-to fight cancers as well. The other great feature is that it can add some delicious flavor to a meal, so it’s not very hard to start getting more of it.


This superspice even gets props from the American Cancer Society for its antioxidant value. With all that we know about antioxidants and the way they help prevent and also assist in eradicating cancer, it’s easy enough to start using it daily. Research shows that curcumin kills tumor cells in a number of ways. Specifically, it regulates multiple cell signaling pathways. If you take it in supplement form, make sure you find a brand with 95 percent curcimoids, which is the active ingredient in turmeric that helps fight cancer.


It seems that you can’t go wrong when choosing your beans. Whether they’re white beans, or navy or black beans, the research shows that they’re able to provide plenty of fiber and fatty acids that help provide protection against cancer growth, before it starts or helping to prevent its spread. You don’t have to go all out and start eating beans at every meal in order to reap the benefits. You simply start adding roughly half a cup just a couple of times a week and you’ll be covered.

Dark Chocolate

The antioxidants in dark chocolate have only recently made the news as being a healthy thing to have in your diet. For years, it was thought that chocolate only made you fat and was a form of sweet that was bad for your health. This is still true for milk chocolate, and the healthy benefits only apply to dark chocolate. Research shows that dark chocolate contains bioactive compounds such as catechins and procyanidins that reduce the risk of cancer. The less processed chocolate you can find, the better, as many companies like to tinker with it, it can be hard to find it in an untouched form. Look for pure and organic dark chocolate, and satisfy your craving without going overboard.


You may remember your parents telling you to eat your broccoli, and it turns out they were right. This is one of the bigger cancer fighters out there, because it hits on many different levels. The fiber it contains has its own benefit and can help contribute to getting your daily fiber needs met. Colon and bladder cancer top the list of types that are helped by eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli is one of the more available cancer fighting foods on our list, and you can pick it up in several forms at a grocery store near you.


Get plenty more benefit by making sure you cook your tomatoes. This helps to release more of the lycopene, the phytochemical that is thought to provide the cancer fighting benefits. According to a meta-analysis of 72 studies, 57 found an inverse association between blood lycopene levels and the risk of cancer. This means that the more tomatoes you eat, the better your chances are at preventing cancer from occurring in the first place. Be sure to eat them cooked as this brings up the lycopene content in the food.


Here is another way to help prevent cancer: up your input of walnuts. They contain omega-3s, which is surprising because you may only equate that with oily fish, but there is a plant-based form of it as well, and this is what walnuts have. The tests that have been conducted have been on mice, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting a head start on consuming more of them. The recommendation appears to be to eat a few handfuls a day for best results, so just sprinkling a few here and there won’t cut it. Try using them as a snack to hold you over between meals.


Garlic is something that you’ll want to get more of, no doubt about it. The list of cancers that it can help out with is long, and only seems to be growing. Garlic has certain antibacterial properties, and the theory is that it can help the body ward off cancer in a number of ways, including killing the cancer cells outright. It may also help to repair the damage done to the DNA, and help to stop cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. These are several reasons why you have to embrace this stinking rose and add it to more of your dishes.


The sulforaphane in cauliflower is what’s been shown to provide the anti-cancer effect. It’s released when you chew it up, so make sure you chew it thoroughly, at least 20 bites before swallowing it. The great part about it is that these substance only seeks out and destroys cancer cells, leaving your healthy cells alone. How’s that for being a cancer bully? There are plenty of recipes available that will help you to start adding more cauliflower to your meals, as it makes a great side dish, or a companion to broccoli, which also made this list.


Carrots got the label of being good for the eyes, but recent research suggests that they are also helpful in the fight against cancer. According to one study,  there is a compound found in carrots called falcarinol that has been shown to prevent the development of cancer. Although the study was done on rats, the research is promising. While the mechanism of action is still unknown, researchers bevel that falcarinol stimulates mechanisms in the body that inhibit cancer. Luckily, carrots are portable and taste great, so they are easy to incorporate into your diet.


Perhaps you simply like the taste of avocado and didn’t feel the need to eat it, but now there are plenty more reasons to add this into your regular list of foods to eat. They contain plenty of nutrients, but in particular they have carotenoids antioxidants, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer. They also contain fiber, which along with other fiber-containing foods can help to reduce that risk even further. So whether you mash them up into guacamole, or add slices to a sandwich, you’ll be helping yourself greatly.


Rather than eating grapes directly it may be better to ingest a grape extract, or drink grape juice. It is the same substance that is in red wine that you’re after, and grapes can serve as a substitute for those that don’t wish to drink wine. It’s the resveratrol that you’re after, but grapes also offer many other attractive properties when it comes to cancer prevention, such as vitamins and fiber. Try snacking on some along with a handful of almonds for a cancer-fighting afternoon snack.


Raspberries, and berries in general, are loaded with antioxidants, and have been shown again and again to help reduce the amount of free radical damage done to the body. This helps to provide anti-inflammatory support, which in turn helps to prevent cancer, and helps the body heal itself, stay youthful, and have more energy. All the more reason to start eating more raspberries. They make a great addition to a smoothie, and you can drink one to your health by adding other smoothie-friendly foods from this list.


You may or may not be familiar with flax, but it’s got a lot going for it, and is one source of omega-3s that you might have overlooked. These have been shown to help keep cancer at bay, and also to send it back from whence it came. It’s super easy to add more flax to your diet because it can easily be sprinkled onto any food on your plate, or easily added to soups, smoothies and more because the seeds are very tiny, and easily chewed up or simply swallowed whole.


Similar to spinach, kale holds its own as a cancer-fighting agent. Many prefer kale to spinach because of its taste, and its versatility as far as cooking goes. You can find it fresh in the same spot as all other dark and leafy greens. It’s these sort of dark colored greens that you should add more of to your diet. Kale specifically acts as a potent antioxidant, which helps keep the body in a healthy state that is unfriendly towards cancer cells and cancer growth. Eat enough superfoods like kale and you create an alkaline state in the body where cancer cannot thrive.


There are many health benefits to eating papaya, and the best part is it tastes great. It may not be as readily available as some of the other foods on this list, but it’s worth seeking out if it typically doesn’t make it into your shopping cart. Because of the lycopene it contains, you’re getting the same sort of benefits as you do from tomatoes, just in a different and sweeter form. Just be sure to have them in moderation, with one a day being stated as a way to help keep cancer away indefinitely, and make sure you’re eating the seeds, which have anti-cancer benefits of their own.


The omega-3 content of salmon makes this a great headliner dish a few times per week. You can actually make a very healthy meal consisting of all cancer-fighting foods by using salmon as your protein, choosing one of the several vegetables from the list, and using an antioxidant-packed fruit to give you your carbs. When you select the salmon make sure that it is wild Alaskan to get the most benefit from it. All salmon is not created equally, and unfortunately the best salmon for cancer fighting happens to come with a hefty price. But it’s worth the extra upfront expenditure if it means less time being sick later.

Brussels Sprouts

Residing in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts have many of the same anti-cancer properties, and of course add to your fiber intake, making it a double whammy for cancer cells. If you don’t prefer their taste, you can stick with their cousins if you find them more palatable. Just don’t miss out on these cruciferous vegetables altogether, and make sure you get at least one kind into your system on a regular basis. They make a good side dish for several different meals, and you can find them fresh in the produce section, or frozen in the frozen foods section.

High Fiber Foods

Getting more fiber in your diet is key to so many different health concerns, and topping that list is that it results in a lower risk of getting cancer, particularly in organs of the digestive system. This includes colon cancer. More fiber also typically means you’ll lose weight and have more energy, which leads to increased feelings of well-being which can be of great help when you’re trying to avoid cancer or send it into remission. Many foods on this list will help you get more fiber, and keep natural sources of fiber in mind, instead of foods that have fiber artificially added to them.

Collard Greens

If you’ve never tried collard greens before, now is a great time to start. These have long been a favorite in soul food restaurants, and it turns out that they’re good for more than just the soul. They contain several different nutrients that act to detoxify the body and keep inflammation to a minimum. A toxic body is a breeding ground for all sorts of different cancers, and if you don’t consume enough foods with anti-inflammatory properties you’re leaving yourself open to host of diseases you wouldn’t want to get.


The vitamin C that we all know oranges contain is a powerful antioxidant, and can be a powerful tool in your arsenal when fighting cancer. Plus they taste really good! Research shows that higher intakes of vitamin C can help reduce cancer by killing cancer cells. A great start to your day could be one or two oranges. Eat them separately and away from any other foods so that your body can assimilate them fully and draw out all of their antioxidant power. Avoid drinking oranges in the form of juice, since many of the commercially available juices are heavily processed and made from low quality oranges.

Olive Oil

Research shows that olive oil contains antioxidants, secoiridoids and lignans that have anti-cancer properties. It is one of the healthier oils you can have in your home for light frying and use as a salad dressing. By adding olive oil to the top of a spinach salad, you’re doing plenty of things right as far as keeping cancer out of your life. You can try adding it to a smoothie since its light flavor gets lost in all the other ingredients, but it acts as a thickening agent.

Sunflower Seeds

There are several different nuts that you can eat that will help your body, and sunflower seeds contain selenium, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of many different forms of cancer. They are easy enough to start incorporating into your diet. Just be sure to get the raw kind, and not the ones that have been dry roasted. You want them to be as unprocessed as possible to keep the selenium intact. Also, avoid ones that have salt added, as this will only lead to higher sodium intake for no reason.


The benefits of beetroot keep getting bigger, and this is one food that has been overlooked by many for too long. It can help to slow down the growth of active tumors, and you don’t have to prepare it and eat it in root form if you don’t want to, a glass of beetroot juice will provide the same benefits. In addition to its cancer fighting properties it’s also been shown to help lower blood pressure and can help power you through your day. Not a bad list of traits for a simple root.


The old adage of an apple a day keeping the doctor away still holds true in our modern society, this time helping to keep cancer away. Apples are just one of those wonder foods that have a lot of great positive effects on the body. Of course cancer would be added to this list because apples help with a host of different diseases and conditions. Research shows that a higher intake of apples is linked to a reduce risk of cancer. You’ll want to make sure to eat the peels, which means you’ll want to be sure to buy organic apples so you’re not eating all of the pesticides and herbicides that can be absorbed by the peels of conventionally grown apples. It’s very easy to get into the habit of having an apple each day, and the old wisdom still pertains.


The nice part about strawberries is that in addition to being delicious they’re also great for the body, and can help it overcome many trials and tribulations. Research shows that the ellagic acid found in strawberries and other berries can help protect against cancer.  It also makes for a really great smoothie, and if you want to power up this superfruit you can add raspberries and blueberries to the mix to make it a true warrior. Just be sure to leave out the added sugar and keep it all natural. Now that’s a drink you can toast to your health!


Spinach has been touted as one of the healthiest foods on the planet and it’s also a great cancer-fighter as well. It’s so nutrient dense that you don’t have to eat a lot of it to get all of the benefits you need. It’s also easily blended into a smoothie, adding extra water and a lot of phytonutrients, and turning your smoothie green. Studies show that the more spinach you eat on a regular basis, the lower your chance of getting cancer across the board. That’s why it’s important not to eat a ton of it one day, and then go a week without it. Focus on consistently eating smaller portions.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts contain selenium, which has been shown to help lower your risk of getting various types of cancers. The benefits of these nuts don’t stop there, as they also contain fiber as well as some plant-based protein, which aids in your overall health and can help to keep you at a stable weight. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that it’s your overall well-being that it going to help you prevent or send cancer packing. That’s why you should be comprehensive about eating right, exercising, and thinking positive thoughts.


Lentils have been shown to work specifically on a few types of cancer, such as bowel cancer and breast cancer. They appear to help the body produce enzymes that have anti-cancer benefits. As a bonus they’re also good at regulating blood sugar levels, and are digested slowly by the body, helping you to feel fuller longer. This makes them very diet friendly, and maintaining a healthy body weight has also proven to help prevent diseases like cancer. If you’ve never used lentils in your cooking before, you can either buy them in the can, or buy them in their raw state and boil them until they’re soft.


Research shows that eating more nuts can help protect you against cancer. Almonds are a great addition to any diet. They make a great substitute for gluten and dairy free diets as you can use almond milk in smoothies and almond flour in baking. You can also add some almonds to your homemade energy bars for a healthy snack to get you through the day.


Research shows that peaches may be able to kill breast cancer cells. Researchers from one study found that only did the peaches kill cancer cells, but they left healthy cells alone. These findings are important because breast cancer cells are one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Peaches are great in the summer. Try incorporating them into your daily meal plan if you’re concerned about breast cancer. They area portable and can travel just about anywhere with you. 


Miso is a staple food in Japan, and is served with many dishes in soup form. For several years now it’s been thought of as a powerful deterrent to cancer, and the low cancer rates coming out of Japan are an indication that they’re doing something right. Of course, a lot of it has to do with the overall lifestyle, and you can’t attribute it to one thing in particular, but there seems to be some great benefit to getting a daily serving of miso, although you might have trouble fitting in the three bowls a day that show the best results.


If you typically only eat pumpkin in the form of pumpkin pie during the holidays, you may want to introduce yourself to this helpful vegetable as a side dish at some meals. The cancer blocking properties of pumpkins are well-documented, and there is even a campaign to plant pink pumpkins during breast cancer awareness month to remind people to eat more pumpkin. It is not only breast cancer that it is supposed to help with. Give strong consideration to eating the seeds as well, as they contain plenty of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to defy cancer.

Pomegranate Juice

You may have jumped on board the pomegranate juice craze that peaked a few years ago, or perhaps you’ve never tried it. No matter your history, it’s something that you can up your intake of if you want to reduce the likelihood that you’ll get cancer. Those with breast cancer in their family history should really take note, since it’s been shown to have a direct effect on those percentages. But it also shows signs of working on all types of cancer cells, slowing their growth and helping to stop the rapid spread that claims so many lives.


Lemons are typically reserved for garnishing a food dish or a beverage, or for lemonade, but research suggests that they should be thought of on a regular occasion for their cancer fighting traits. Don’t be fooled by email spam claiming that lemons are more potent than chemotherapy, but don’t write them off either. They do contain high levels of vitamins, including vitamin C, so you’re getting a good amount of antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent cancer, or slow down its growth rate if you’ve already got it. Try adding lemon juice to a salad or smoothie, or to a glass of plain water to flavor it up.

Several factors are involved when it comes to cancer, but food seems to be one of the major things you can do as far as actions to take. The body thrives when it is given the building blocks to stay healthy and vital, and it struggles when it’s not given these sort of essential nutrients. In addition to lessening the chances of getting cancer, by eating these types of wholesome, nutrient-laden foods you’re also shoring up your defenses against many other illnesses and conditions as well.

You may also like our list of 20 foods that detox your body & mind.

Users Comments:



  • Ludmila

    I’ m surprised to see wine and green tea as examples of anticancer food
    And alcohol isn’t bad
    and teina is not bad too?

  • Lisa

    Thanks so much for website. love it lisa

  • Lacey Smith

    Love, love, love this! Definitely passing it along to a friend of mine battling cancer, I know she’ll really appreciate the article! There’s a great cookbook out right now called “Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen” by Annette Ramke & Kendall Scott. Their website, http://thekickingkitchen.com/, is really great too. I bought the cookbook for my friend and she’s raved about the recipes. Thanks for this post!!

  • Matilda

    I will deff. Start implementing these foods in my & my family daily lives. Since cancer has taken both my mom & dad from our lives!! Thank you for sharing 😉

  • tina

    this was very good information. my mom has cancer. shes 74 yr.s old. found out last year. im her daughter tina. and we are not here on earth to give up but to live strong and long. but one thing I belive in are better days to come but not as we know it. but a place of no tears or sadness no crying. my words are don’t give up do all you can.

  • Bridgette

    This information is very useful as I have recently been diagnosis with Breast cancer I with use this list to help fight this thank you

  • Catherine Nicholas

    Congratulations on a wonderful website. The information is sound and truly valuable. Do keep up this great work.

  • Susan

    I already eat almost all of these foods on a regular basis and am awaiting results of ultrasound and biopsy of my breast. I also am of normal weight, exercise regularly and don’t smoke. So if cancer is going to find you, I don’t think any of this matters.

  • TIffany

    I love green tea. I can’t have a day without it. What make me feel happier is that most of these foods are common in my smoothies. I guess I’m on the right track. Great post!

  • Iri

    Have you heard of Graviola?

  • Marie

    Great information. While there is no 100% prevention, I believe eating foods like these will also help tremendously. Don’t forget to keep a positive attitude through all of this and pray as prayer is very powerful.

  • Sharyl

    I was very happy to find that I am already eating many foods that will help to fight my cancer.
    I drink a fruit smoothie nearly everyday and will start adding some of the veggies, like kale and spinach leaves, that I don’t eat now. I’ll also try adding flax to my soups. Thank you for the great website.

  • harbans

    Let me read thoroughly

  • Barbara Fernald

    I already eat more than half of the suggested foods every day. Just in my fruit smoothie I mix 1 cup fresh spinach, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, turmeric, prunes, flaxseed meal, 1/4 cup fresh carrots, 5 lge strawberries and 1/2 cup blueberries I mix it with a cup of water. Plus for lunch and supper I make sure that I add other things from the list.

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