Skip to main content

Making Healthy Food Choices

You can lower your cancer risk (your chances of getting cancer) by eating a variety of plant-based foods. No single food prevents cancer. But a combination of these healthy foods can lower your cancer risk:

  • Vegetables, including leafy greens
  • Whole fruits (not fruit juice)
  • Whole grains
  • Beans, peas, and lentils

Plant-based foods help prevent cancer in these ways:

  • They contain compounds that repair cells and help fight cancer before it starts.
  • They support the immune system and fight infection.
  • They provide energy and keep waste moving out of the body.
  • They lower inflammation in your body, which can lead to cancer.
  • They help you keep a healthy weight.

Download Nutrition Facts Labels Booklet

Foods That Fight Cancer

Research shows that specific compounds found in the foods below help lower risk for many cancers. Remember, it is more important to eat a variety of plant-based foods than to limit yourself to a few "superfoods."


  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit*
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Raspberries 
  • Strawberries

*Certain cancer treatments may interact with grapefruit. Talk with your doctor if you are currently receiving treatment.


  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Winter squash

Whole Grains

  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa


  • Dry beans (kidney, black)
  • Edamame
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Tofu

Nuts and Seeds

  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts


  • Coffee
  • Green tea

How to Choose Healthy Foods

Follow these tips for choosing healthy foods:

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • When you eat grains, choose whole grains at least half the time.
  • Enjoy fish twice per week.
  • Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
  • Choose skinless poultry.
  • Limit red meat to 12-18 ounces per week.
  • Limit processed meat, such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats.
  • Limit sugary sodas and drinks.

Related News and Stories