7 Superfoods for Cancer Survivors

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Broccoli, Brazil Nuts & Flax Seeds


Broccoli contains indoles, a naturally occurring chemical believed to help the body expel excess estrogen and other carcinogens from the body. Because of this ability to rid the body of estrogen, indoles are thought to be particularly helpful at warding off breast cancer. Add broccoli to boiling pasta in the last 3 minutes of cooking, then serve with your favorite pasta sauce. Or make a salad by adding feta cheese, black olives, grape tomatoes, olive oil, and lemon juice to lightly cooked broccoli florets.

Recommended serving size: 1/2 cup cooked, 22 calories; or 1 cup raw, 31 calories

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, a mineral that is believed to lower cancer risk. They also provide a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and ellagic acid (see raspberries on page 1). Eat them plain or chop them and sprinkle them over cereal, oatmeal, or salads.

Recommended serving size: 6-8 nuts; 186 calories


Tiny little flaxseeds do a lot of heavy lifting. Excellent sources of fiber, the seeds also deliver high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and have been shown to shrink breast cancer tumors. The body can't digest the seeds whole -- to serve, buy them ground or grind them yourself in a coffee grinder and store them in the fridge to keep them fresh. Add up to 4 teaspoons a day to everything -- cereal, yogurt, soup, salad, pasta, you name it -- but start with only one teaspoon a day and increase your intake slowly so the your body becomes acclimated to your increased fiber intake.

Recommended serving size: up to 4 teaspoons a day; 18 calories and 1 gram of fiber for each teaspoon

Kate Hanley is a freelance writer who specializes in wellness. Visit her at msmindbody.com.

Originally published on LHJ.com, August 2006.


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