Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women; about 1 out of 4 cancer deaths are from lung cancer. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. The leading cause of lung cancer is smoking. So, if you smoke, stop. Tobacco use is responsible for more than 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. While non-smokers can develop lung cancer, eating certain foods may help in the prevention of the disease.
The word cruciferous refers to plants in the cabbage family. Examples of these plants are cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. What makes these vegetables special is that they contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is one of the most potent cancer fighters found naturally in food, and it has been proven to increase the death in cancer cells.
Cruciferous vegetables also contain a substance called indole-3-carbinol. This substance that can be created in labs as well, is used for the prevention of many different types of cancer. In a nutshell, indole-3-carbinol repairs the damage done by carcinogens to cells before they can turn cancerous. Research suggests that eating cruciferous vegetables may lower the risk of lung cancer by as much as 40 percent.
Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange hues in many fruits and vegetables. Examples of these fruits and vegetables are oranges, papayas, peaches, red bell peppers, and carrots. These pigments contribute many health benefits to those who eat them. These carotenoids are such super foods, that they even benefit smokers. Studies have shown that a high-carotenoid diet lowers the risk of lung cancer by 25 percent in non-smokers, and by 37 percent in smokers.
3. Foods That Contain Soy
Soy foods, like tofu, blunt the effects of estrogen in our bodies. Studies have shown that estrogen may encourage the growth of lung tumours as well as tumours in the breast. Though research is in the early stages, researchers suspect that dampening the effects of estrogen may slow or even stop the development of lung cancer.
4. Fish High in Omega-3
Certain studies have shown that the combination of animal fat as well as cigarette smoke promotes the development of lung cancer. However, the omega-3 fatty acid seems to counteract the effects of normal animal fat. Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acid are salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Adding or substituting these foods into your diet will definitely minimise the risk of lung cancer.
5. Foods Rich in Vitamin B
Foods such as spinach, kale, and beans are extremely rich in folate, a B vitamin that safeguards cells from tobacco carcinogens. Studies conducted on former smokers have shown, that those with enough folate in their diets had a lowered risk of lung cancer, by as much as 40 percent. Regardless if you are a smoker or not, folate-rich foods are a must.
Keeping your lungs healthy is no easy feat. It takes a combination of a good diet and plenty of exercise to create a good environment for your lungs to thrive. Of course, it’s all about hard work and discipline, but at the end of the day, you reap the benefits.
Check out our article on 3 breathing exercises to increase lung capacity.