Danger in the Air: How to Protect Yourself from Lung Cancer
What to Eat to Beat Lung Cancer
While there's no diet proven to protect you from lung cancer (doctors say eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is your best bet), researchers have ID'd certain foods and eating strategies to help lower your risk.
Choose veggies over vitamins. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, contain glucosinolates, a type of chemical compound believed to reduce the risk of lung and other cancers. (Glucosinolates are available in supplements, but the body does not absorb the crucial cancer-fighting compound in pill form as efficiently as it does from food sources.) To get the maximum protective benefits, eat these veggies raw or steam them for no more than four minutes.
Snack on soy. Isoflavones, compounds found in soy, have been shown to slow lung cancer cell growth in the lab. Scientists have also discovered that people with the most soy in their diet -- especially from unfermented foods like soy milk and tofu -- had a 23 percent lower risk for lung cancer compared with those with the least.
Drink tea. A recent study published in Chest found that black tea helped protect nonsmoking women from lung cancer. And smokers and nonsmokers who drank at least one cup of green tea a day were five times less likely to get the disease than those who didn't drink any, another study found.
Go easy on spirits. Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day increased the risk of lung cancer by 30 percent, research showed.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2012.
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