Indianapolis—While it may seem that almost everyday a new report suggests something else could cause cancer, Hoosiers have a chance to fight back by changing the foods that they eat. As a part of Fox59's partnership with Little Red Door Cancer Agency, we went on a cancer prevention grocery trip to find the foods you can eat to possibly prevent cancer.
Fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats and low or fat free dairy are the main staples on the list. The foods we're told to eat for overall health are the same as what we should eat for cancer prevention, according to Kim Galeaz, a Registered Dietitian and Kroger Consultant.
"You don't want too much sodium. You don't want too much sugar. You don't want too much alcohol. You really need to focus first on all these nutrient rich foods, then add all of these in," Galeaz said.
On the shopping trip to prevent cancer, we looked for certain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are thought to promote health in many ways, like cancer prevention. Many have antioxidant properties.
"They act like a cleaner-upper. Your cells give off all sorts of free radicals. That's just part of your body's natural processes. Those free radicals can cause damage to your cells," Galeaz said.
To reduce the risk of prostate cancer, she said to load up on cooked tomato treats like salsa, ketchup and pasta sauce.
"When you take the tomato and you cook it, it actually releases even more of that wonderful lycopene," Galeaz said.
Another option is watermelon. It has even more lycopene than the tomato.
Beans of all sorts are filled with fiber and can also help reduce the risk of stomach and colorectal cancers. Galeaz warned, though, that too much sodium could make cancer risks worse. Washing the beans off with water can help reduce the sodium.
"You've got to rinse it and drain it really well. So you're going to get up to 50% of the sodium so that 460 mg in that 1/2 cup serving would be about 230 mg," Galeaz said.
If you're a pasta person, it helps to know how to find out if it is 100% whole grain. That's the ideal for cancer prevention.
"I check those ingredient, statements and I see semolina and I say you know what, that's what all pasta is made of. That is the regular, white refined grain."
Still, some pastas are 50/50 when it comes to whole grain. For example, if the pasta has chick peas and flax seeds, which are whole grain, that is still beneficial.
When it comes to treats, popcorn is a good choice. There are four grams of fiber in each serving. The cancer-corn connection is the prevention of lung and breast cancers.
Galeaz suggests loading up on anything in the onion family too, like chives, garlic and leeks.
"They have allyl sulfides. That's their specific phytonutrient that can help reduce risk of several cancers, including prostate," Galeaz said.
Don't blame her for the bad breath, though. Follow up with parsley. It's known to reduce the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Little Red Door Cancer Agency is going to be offering up much more information on cancer prevention and the importance of healthy eating at Unite 2 Fight: Get Moving 2 Beat Cancer. Fox59 is proud to be partnered with the Little Red Door in numerous events throughout the year, including Unite 2 Fight. The events is scheduled for July 9 from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m. The event is free for everyone. You just have to register.