Eating a healthy diet full of cancer-fighting foods can be an important part of an integrative approach to cancer treatment and prevention. Juicing fruits and vegetables can be a delicious way to get concentrated nutrition from produce into your diet. Certain fruits and vegetables have compounds that may help protect against cancer development and growth. Let’s take a look at some of the top foods to juice to support your body’s defenses against cancer.
Fruits to Juice for Cancer Prevention
Fruits are packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that may help fight cancer. Here are some of the best fruits to juice:
Blueberries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins which give them their deep blue-purple color. Some research has found that blueberries may help protect against DNA damage and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Try juicing blueberries with cherries or pomegranate for a delicious cancer-fighting fruit juice.
Cherries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins which give them their deep red color. Studies suggest that cherry anthocyanins may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and even cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Sweet cherries or tart cherries would both make great additions to a fruit juice for cancer prevention.
Pomegranates contain flavonoids called anthocyanins as well as ellagitannins which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research indicates pomegranate may slow cancer cell reproduction and even shrink prostate cancer tumors.Try juicing pomegranate seeds or blending the seeds into fruit smoothies.
Apples contain antioxidants like quercetin, catechins, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid which may help protect cells from damage linked to cancer development. Quercetin specifically has been found to induce apoptosis in certain cancer cell lines in test tube studies. Juice crisp apples like Gala, Fuji or Honeycrisp for the best flavor.
Oranges provide vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage. Some research suggests higher vitamin C intake is associated with reduced risk for certain types of cancer. Choose juicy, sweet oranges like Valencia or Navel to add to your fruit juices.
Grapes, especially red and purple grapes, contain resveratrol and other polyphenols that may help prevent cancer cell growth. Some research in cell studies has found grape compounds can inhibit breast, colorectal and prostate cancer cell proliferation. Enjoy them juiced fresh or frozen.
All berries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins and ellagic acid which can help protect cells from damage contributing to cancer. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries may support apoptosis and restrict growth of cancerous cells. Blend any combination of berries into juices or smoothies.
Vegetables to Juice for Cancer Prevention
In addition to fruits, vegetables are also rich in anti-cancer nutrients. Here are some great veggies to juice:
Orange vegetables like carrots are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant form of vitamin A. Some research indicates beta-carotene can inhibit growth of cervical, colon, bladder, prostate, and breast cancer cells in vitro. Juice carrots alone or blended with fruits like apples or celery.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant in the carotenoid family. Studies suggest high lycopene intake is associated with lower risk for prostate, lung, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast, and cervical cancers. Combine tomato juice with carrot, celery, parsley or basil.
Broccoli contains compounds like sulforaphane and indoles that may have protective effects against cancer. Research indicates broccoli consumption is linked to reduced risk of prostate, colon, bladder, and stomach cancers. Add broccoli to vegetable juices along with carrot, kale, celery or cucumber.
Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, lettuce and collard greens are rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, and polyphenols that act as antioxidants. These greens may help protect DNA from damage and stop growth of cancerous cells. Juice leafy greens with citrus, apple, celery or cucumber.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds like allicin that give it immune-boosting properties. Some studies suggest a link between increased garlic intake and reduced risk of cancers like stomach, colorectal, prostate, breast, lung and bladder cancer. Add a clove of fresh garlic to vegetable juices for a potent cancer-fighting boost.
Ginger root contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols that may inhibit cancer cell growth and suppress tumor progression. Some research indicates ginger may be effective against ovarian, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancers. Fresh ginger can add a flavor boost and potential anti-cancer benefits to fruit or vegetable juices.
Other Anti-Cancer Foods to Juice
In addition to fruits and vegetables, other foods like fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, and greens can add nutrients to juices that may fight cancer. Consider adding:
- Fresh turmeric – contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that may inhibit cancer cell growth and development
- Fresh parsley or cilantro – provides antioxidants like luteolin that can help protect cells from free radical damage
- Lemon/lime juice – adds immune-boosting vitamin C and cancer-fighting limonoids
- Wheatgrass – dense source of chlorophyll, antioxidants, and nutrients that may restrict cancer cell replication
- Fresh pineapple – contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that may stimulate anticancer immunity
- Chia seeds – rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber that may inhibit cancer progression
- Flax seeds – provides fiber, lignans and omega-3s that can protect cells from cancerous changes
Foods to Avoid Juicing
While fruits, vegetables, herbs and seeds can be very beneficial juiced, there are some foods you may want to avoid or limit in cancer-fighting juices:
- Excess sugar – High glycemic juices may feed cancer cell growth, so limit high sugar fruits like grapes, mangos and bananas
- Alcohol – Avoid alcoholic beverages; even small amounts of alcohol may increase risk of cancers
- Processed meats – Skip deli meats, bacon, sausage and hot dogs which may contain carcinogenic compounds
- Refined grains – Limit wheat products, crackers, cereals and baked goods made from refined flour
- Fried foods – Avoid frying vegetables or adding fried ingredients like donuts or french fries which can promote inflammation
- Full-fat dairy – Consume low-fat or non-dairy milks and yogurts instead of full-fat varieties
Sample Juice Recipes to Fight Cancer
Try incorporating some of these delicious juice blends into your diet to flood your body with cancer-fighting nutrients:
|Cancer-Fighting Green Juice||Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger, apple, carrot|
|Antioxidant Berry Juice||Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apple, lime, mint|
|Purple Power Juice||Beet, carrot, blueberry, blackberry, pomegranate, grape, lemon|
|Orange Immunity Juice||Carrot, orange, ginger, turmeric, lemon|
|Green Goodness Juice||Kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, lemon, ginger, apple|
Tips for Juicing for Cancer Prevention
Here are some tips to maximize the cancer-fighting potential of your homemade juices:
- Use organic produce when possible to minimize pesticide exposure.
- Mix up greens, fruits, veggies and herbs to get a variety of nutrients.
- Drink juices promptly or store in air-tight container in fridge for up to 3 days.
- Add anti-cancer boosts like turmeric, garlic, ginger, or wheatgrass.
- Include protein like nuts, seeds or plant-based protein powders.
- Pair juices with healthy fats like avocado or olive oil to absorb nutrients.
- Use a slow juicer rather than high-speed blender to retain more nutrients.
- Drink juices on an empty stomach when possible for optimal absorption.
- Enjoy juices chilled for a refreshing nutrient-packed beverage.
Potential Downsides of Juicing
While juicing has many benefits, there are also some potential downsides to keep in mind:
- Fiber is removed from produce, so juices may be less filling than whole fruits/veggies.
- It takes many pounds of produce to make a juice, so it can be less efficient and more expensive.
- Nutrients are concentrated in juices, so drinking too much can lead to excess vitamin/mineral intake.
- The glycemic load may be high in fruit-based juices, which could affect blood sugar.
- Without fiber, juices may not promote healthy gut bacteria as well as whole foods.
To help mitigate these risks, enjoy juices in moderation as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet focused on whole, unprocessed anti-cancer foods as well.
Drinking vegetable and fruit juices made from produce like carrots, leafy greens, berries, tomatoes, oranges, apples, and pomegranate can flood your body with antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients that may help fight cancer. Pair these healthy juices with a diet focused on whole foods like nuts, seeds, beans, fish, eggs, and lean poultry or meat for a well-rounded approach to cancer prevention. Consult your healthcare provider before making major changes to your diet. With a nutritious whole foods diet and anti-cancer juices incorporated in moderation, you can give your body the tools it needs to stay strong, energized, and resilient in the face of cancer.