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 has proven that specific compounds found in the foods below fight certain kinds of cancer. Remember, it is more important to eat a variety of plant-based foods than to limit yourself to a few “superfoods.”

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapefruit*
  • Grapes

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

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Winter squash

Whole Grains

  • 100% whole-wheat bread
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur
  • Millet
  • Oats

Proteins

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

Nuts and Seeds

  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts

Drinks

  • 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.
  • Eat fish twice per week.
  • Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
  • Choose skinless poultry.
  • Limit red meat, such as beef, pork, and lamb.
  • Limit processed meat, such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats.
  • Use the Cancer-Fighting Foods Shopping List when you go grocery shopping.