Services at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center  

Cancer Fighting Foods


There's some truth to the saying "you are what you eat."  Several foods have been found to contain properties that help prevent diseases such as cancer. Read below to see what might be beneficial to your good health.


  • Good source of dietary lignin and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Protective at the early stage of cancer development
  • Use ground flaxseeds for better absorption
  • Recommended 1 tablespoon per day
  • Flaxseed oil does not have cancer protective benefits 


  • You CAN eat sugar: sugar does not “feed” cancer cells BUT:
    • Stick with mostly naturally occurring sugars such as in fruit and dairy foods
    • Avoid foods and beverages high in processed sugars but low in other nutrients e.g.: soda and sweets
    • Choose whole grains over refined versions


  • Contains isoflavones – the anticancer compounds
  • Possibly beneficial but research is conflicting
  • Supplements containing isoflavones should be avoided
  • Up to 3 serving of soy food per day is safe

What is Considered 1 serving of soy food?

    • ½ cup of Edammame
    • ½ cup of cooked/canned soybeans
    • 3 oz of tofu (1/4 block)
    • 3 oz of tempeh
    • 8 oz cup of soymilk
    • ¼ cup of soynuts 
    • 1 Tablespoon of miso

Green Tea

  • EGCG – active ingredient with the highest anticancer activity
  • Japanese green teas are richer in the anticancer compounds
  • Brew tea for 8-10 minuntes to allow the adequate extraction of the healthy compounds
  • Recommended 3 cups of green tea per day

Cruciferous vegetables

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy
  • Active ingredient – sulforaphane
  • May protect against cancer by reducing the oxygen-free radicals that generate in the body
  • 1 to 2 cups per day is recommended


  • Curcumin is an active ingredient
  • Anti- inflammatory - may help with the cancer cell self destruction 
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric per day (8 grams)
  • Add to soups, salads, salad dressings, pasta dishes

Onions and Garlic

  • Members of the allium family, which also includes leeks, scallions, and chives
  • Contain quercetin and kaempferol – the aniticancer compounds
  • Protective against the damage caused by carcinogenic substances
  • Slow the development of cancer cells
  • Crush, chop and chew for best absorption

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Higley Road and US 60
2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 256-6444
(855) 256-6444

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