According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer affecting women. It is also the 18th most prevalent cancer in the world.
Ovarian cancer refers to cancerous growths that begin in the ovaries and the connecting areas of the fallopian tubes and the peritoneum.
Women who are middle-aged or older, diagnosed with endometriosis, have never given birth or have difficulties getting pregnant, and have close family members who had ovarian cancer are at higher risk for getting ovarian cancer.
Whether you have these risk factors or not, specialists in gynaecological oncology say that staying active and maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your likelihood of getting ovarian cancer and nearly all types of cancer.
Having a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can reduce your risk for this type of cancer as well.
Top Foods for Ovarian Cancer Prevention
Based on various studies, below are the seven best superfoods that can help prevent the onset of ovarian cancer:
Endives are leaf vegetables that belong in the same family as chicory and frisée. They have crunchy, slightly bitter leaves.
Endives are among the top superfoods that fight ovarian cancer since they contain a compound called kaempferol, a natural flavonol with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Based on several studies, kaempferol may be a good substance to include in different types of chemoprevention treatments for ovarian cancer.
Endives can be eaten raw or fresh and added to salads. They also taste great when grilled and used as sides or garnishing for a variety of dishes.
2. Brussels Sprouts
Cruciferous vegetables, which include Brussels sprouts, are also excellent foods that fight ovarian cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables contain a variety of cancer-preventing nutrients, including phytonutrients, substances that build and repair damaged cells. Research shows that a diet rich in these nutritious veggies can lower a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer.
Also, adding cruciferous veggies to your weekly diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, reducing your risk for ovarian cancer further.
Aside from Brussels sprouts, other cruciferous vegetables you should eat more of are cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and arugula. Since these veggies are full of nutrients and flavour-packed, they are excellent ingredients for plant-based alternatives.
This fruit has been considered one of the best cancer-fighting foods for ages since it is packed with lycopene.
Lycopene, a natural chemical found in plants, is a powerful antioxidant that can lower stomach, lung, and breast cancer risks.
According to one study, the dietary intake of lycopene also lowers the incidence of spontaneous ovarian tumours.
Aside from eating fresh or cooked tomatoes, include canned tomato juices in your daily diet as well. They contain lycopene and carotenoids, another cancer-fighting nutrient.
Drinking tomato juice allows your body to absorb more carotenoids since the hard plant cell walls surrounding this nutrient are broken down during processing.
Other fruits rich in lycopene you will do well to include in your diet are watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, and papaya.
Previous reports show that ginger kills ovarian cancer cells and prevents them from developing resistance to cancer treatments.
Gingerols, the most active compound in ginger, destroy cancerous ovarian cells similar to the way chemotherapy drugs do, but without the uncomfortable side effects.
Many health specialists already advise patients undergoing chemotherapy to eat more ginger since it is an effective remedy for nausea and inflammation.
Nuts help slow down the onset of ovarian cancer in two ways.
First, studies show that foods rich in phytoestrogens and fibre, such as nuts, beans, and soy, can help prevent slow-growing tumours from becoming more aggressive and dangerous.
Also, eating one-third cup of nuts daily can reduce your ovarian cancer by reducing tissue inflammation.
Tissue inflammation usually paves the way for the growth of ovarian tumours. Nuts contain nutrients that tame inflammation, including magnesium, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and alpha-linolenic acid.
Almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts are some of the types of nuts you will do well to snack on daily.
Garlic is a staple ingredient and seasoning in numerous savoury dishes and snacks. But aside from adding flavour to your favourite food, this vegetable has anti-cancer benefits that help you keep ovarian cancer at bay.
According to studies, garlic has bioactive sulphur compounds that reduce the effects brought about by various stages of carcinogenesis. Eating this veggie helps your body kill cancer cells and keeps them from spreading.
Eating garlic also affects different biological processes that reduce cancer risk.
Additionally, garlic is rich in vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and selenium, nutrients that can prevent the growth of cancer cells in the intestines, stomach, colon, and breast.
7. Green Tea
If you are looking for a beverage that can help you reduce your risk for ovarian cancer, opt for green tea.
Based on a report, green tea contains plant compounds that help prevent and repair DNA damage that can accelerate the growth of cancerous cells in the ovaries.
Because of this, daily intake of green tea can reduce ovarian cancer occurrence and recurrence.
Aside from modifying your diet to include these superfoods, see your obstetrician and gynaecologist immediately when you have a swollen stomach, feel constant bloating and discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area, and experience other symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Keep in mind that timely diagnosis is crucial for the successful treatment of ovarian cancer, so see your specialist when you feel any symptoms.