By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
Minerals are essential in cancer prevention. Here are 5 of the top cancer-prevention minerals:
1. Calcium: A proven protector against colon cancer, this mineral is integral for maintaining the health of bones and teeth, blood clotting, and cellular metabolism. Excellent sources of calcium include: nuts and seeds, carrot juice, dark green vegetables, salmon and sardines.
2. Iodine: This mineral is found in sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, and Celtic sea salt. It helps protect the body from breast cancer and is required for energy and the growth and repair of healthy tissues.
3. Magnesium: This mineral protects against cancer in general, maintains the pH balance of the blood, as well as aids the formation of your body’s genetic material RNA and DNA. While damaged genetic material can put you at risk for cancer, magnesium helps with the repair work. It is found in many foods, including: nuts, fish, brown rice, whole grains, and green vegetables.
4. Selenium: This mineral helps the body manufacture glutathione, an enzyme required for proper detoxification of the body. Because toxic build-up in the body is linked to cancer, assisting your body with its natural, ongoing detoxification processes helps lessen your risk of cancer. In research, low dietary levels of selenium have been correlated with higher cancer incidence. Supplementation with selenium is a valuable cancer prevention tool.
5. Zinc: A powerful protective agent against prostate cancer, this mineral is also necessary for the formation of RNA and DNA and a healthy immune system. And, you guessed it: a healthy immune system is better able to kill cancer cells. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, seafood, whole grains, soybeans, and onions.