By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
The best way to beat cancer naturally is to adopt a lifestyle to prevent it. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is an essential part of any anti-cancer plan. Here are my picks for the top 5 vitamins that help protect against cancer. Stay posted next week for the Top 5 Minerals that Help Protect Against Cancer.
1. Beta carotene
This precursor of Vitamin A is found in most orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables. An amazing nutrient, it has been shown in research to protect the lungs against toxins that are linked to lung cancer.
Another study found that ex-smokers who ate green and yellow vegetables high in beta carotene daily decreased their risk of stomach and lung cancer.
2. Vitamin B6
This B-Vitamin is essential to maintain a healthy immune system and helps protect the respiratory tract from pollution and infection. In studies it has helped protect against cervical cancer. Vitamin B-6 is primarily found in carrots, apples, organ meats, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and sweet potatoes.
3. Vitamin C
One of the most well-researched nutrients, Vitamin C has shown great promise in the fight against cancer, both in prevention and disease-management. Consider a recent study in which forty patients with cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus, or cervix received large doses of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and other vitamins.
Another sixty-one patients with other kinds of cancer followed the same regime, while thirty-one patients received no vitamin supplements and served as the control group. The control group lived an average of 5.7 months. Of the others, 80 percent of the patients with cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus, or cervix had a mean survival time of 122 months; patients with other forms of cancer lived an average of 72 months. That translates into a length of life 13 to 21 times longer in those who used vitamin therapy.
4. Folic Acid
In studies, folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, helps protect against cervical cancer and is necessary for the proper formation of the body’s own genetic material – DNA and RNA. It is found in beets, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, citrus fruits, and most types of fish.
5. Vitamin E
In addition to protecting against bowel cancer, Vitamin E works as a powerful antioxidant that reduces the damage caused by ozone and pollutants on the cells. It is found in eggs, wheat germ, liver, unrefined vegetable oils, and dark green vegetables.