Six cancer-fighting foods to add to your diet – and exactly how much you should eat

The primarily plant-based diet, based on traditional eating patterns in the likes of Spain, Italy and Greece, includes at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

This offers ample amounts of dietary fibre, which can reduce the risk of bowel cancer by helping maintain a healthy gut microbiome and lowering the gut’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, says Dr Fiona Malcomson, a researcher in human nutrition at Newcastle University.

“Having a healthy diet – packed with fruit and vegetables – can also indirectly reduce our risk of developing cancers by helping us to maintain a healthy body weight,” she notes.

To boost intake, Dr Malcomson recommends combining fruit, such as berries and banana, with oats or muesli for breakfast and tucking into a mixed-vegetable omelette for lunch.

While berries are rich in cancer-fighting flavonoids and antioxidants, the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach can boost the body’s antioxidant defences, which can help limit the DNA damage that can lead to cancer.

Pulses (at least three portions per week)

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