Loma Linda University reported that people who ate beans at least three times a week had a 33% reduced risk of colon polyps (which often lead to colon cancer).
Researchers at Colorado State University reported on the anticancer abilities of beans: white kidney beans have greater impact on cancer cells than navy beans, and that more colorful beans have milder effects. Foods that were found to be especially protective against head and neck cancers, which include cancer of the mouth, throat, and larynxthese cancers included beans, carrots, and tomatoes, among others.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and kale, among others, contain several compounds shown to fight cancer.
Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of various cancers, including prostate, mouth, throat, colon, stomach, and bladder. This does not include beta-carotene supplements – to receive the benefits, carrots must be eaten.
In one laboratory study, capsaicin slowed the growth of prostate cancer cells and prompted apoptosis (cell suicide), while a subsequent study found similar results regarding apoptosis and prostate cancer cells. Capsaicin also fights stomach cancer.
Garlic contains allium compounds that enhance the activity of immune system cells designed to fight cancer – they block carcinogens from getting into cells and also slow the development of tumors.
Mushrooms, including shiitake, reishi, coriolus versicolor, and maitake, have demonstrated cancer-fighting properties. The anticancer abilities are attributed to polysaccharides, including beta glucan, which enhance the immune system and strengthen it against cancer. Mushrooms also contain complex protein/sugar molecules called lectin, which have an ability to prevent cancer cells from multiplying. Another compound in mushrooms is ergosterol peroxide, which can inhibit the growth or prostate cancer cells and prompt apoptosis, according to a study reported in Chemico Biological Interactions. The yamabushitake mushroom has demonstrated potential against human leukemia.
Raspberries have been shown to decrease the number of esophageal tumors. In subsequent studies, black raspberry extracts inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells.
A recent review in Current Medicinal Chemistry reports on the impact of lycopene on cancer in general, and how its potent antioxidant properties help it prevent cell damage and inhibit cell growth. In addition, some case-control studies have shown that greater consumption of tomatoes and lycopene is associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.
The spice turmeric: Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, appears to involve a blend of anti-carcinogenic, pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenic, anti-metastatic, immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities. One study showed it inhibited the growth of both human and animal prostate cancer cell lines.