Fruits and vegetables reduce cancer risk
8 Images

Foods that affect your risk of cancer

Fruits and vegetables reduce cancer risk
Eating 1 to 2 1/2 cups of fruit and 1 to 4 cups of vegetables each day will help prevent cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach and lung, according to the National Cancer Institute. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may also reduce the risk of developing cancers of the colon, pancreas and prostate. (Photographer’s Choice RF)
Berries for cancer prevention
Berries contain antioxidants that appear to help prevent cancer by preventing the damage that makes cells vulnerable to tumors and by influencing genes that play a role in cancer growth, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Preliminary studies have shown that consuming powders made from freeze-dried berries helped shrink breast tumors and pre-cancerous rectal polyps. (David Karp)
Cruciferous vegetables may have anticancer properties
Cruciferous vegetables -- including broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and arugula -- contain glucosinolates, chemicals that may have anticancer effects. Studies have shown them to fight cancer in experiments with cells and animals, but results in humans have been mixed, according to the National Cancer Institute. (David Karp)
Limit consumption of red meat
Red meat -- including beef, pork and lamb -- has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal and prostate cancer. Researchers believe the iron and fat in red meat may be responsible, according to the National Cancer Institute. (William Thomas Cain)
Avoid processed meats
Hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts and other processed meats have been linked to higher cancer risk, even ones made from poultry. The nitrates, nitrites and salt in processed meats are thought to be the culprits, the National Cancer Institute says. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Fiber and cancer risk
Health experts used to think that a diet high in fiber would help prevent colon cancer, since rates of that cancer are lower in countries where fiber consumption is high. But scientific studies aiming to prove such a link have not been able to do so. Trials that randomly assigned some people to a high-fiber diet and others to a low-fiber diet found that people in both groups developed pre-cancerous colon polyps at essentially the same rate, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
High-fat foods increase cancer risk
A high-fat diet appears to be a risk factor for colon and lung cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. In post-menopausal women, eating fatty foods is also linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. No more than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats, and consumption of trans fats should be as low as possible, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise.  (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
Alcohol and cancer risk
Women who consume more than one drink a day and men who consume more than two drinks per day are at increased risk for various types of cancer, including those of the liver, larynx, mouth, esophagus and pharynx, the National Cancer Institute says. In women, this level of drinking also raises the risk of breast cancer. The younger a person is when he or she becomes a heavy drinker, the greater their cancer risk, the Natonal Cancer Institute says. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)