Cancer is one of the top killers of African Americans. And how do we stop it? By taking pills and downing supplements? How about just eating smarter?! Research shows plenty of fruits, vegetables and meats can help our bodies naturally ward off the dreaded cancer.

Here are five examples of foods that are not just good to eat, but smart to eat too.

Broccoli: Your mother always wanted you to eat it, and with good reason. Broccoli helps prevent colon, bladder, lung, stomach and ovarian cancer. It also contains a substance called sulforaphane that slows the growth of cancer cells in breast tissue. Heating up your broccoli with a little steam helps bring out larger amounts of sulforaphane.

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Oranges: In addition to being an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, add cancer fighter to the orange’s resume. Oranges are full of Vitamin C, which helps your body fight off bacteria found in the blood stream called H. pylori. This bacteria has been known to cause peptic ulcers that lead to stomach cancer.

Garlic: The power of garlic isn’t just in its smell. When garlic is chopped and/or minced, it produces allinase, an enzyme important in forming a cancer-fighting compound. Normally this enzyme is destroyed during cooking. However, if you let your chopped garlic sit for a few minutes on the counter before you begin to cook, it produces enough allinase for it to survive the cooking process.

Beans: Their folic acid is famous for its prenatal benefits in pregnant women, but beans have other benefits as well. Women who regularly eat beans are less likely to develop breast cancer. This is due to the beans ability to prohibit the spread of tumor growing enzymes.

Fish: Foods rich in B6, when combined with dark leafy greens such as salad greens, can help prevent the onset of colorectal cancer. Salmon, a fish loaded with B6, has also been linked to the prevention of skin cancer.

These foods can be combined in a variety of ways, like in salads, pastas, or eaten individually as a meal. Boosting your diet with these and other cancer fighting foods will help you live longer, as well as live smarter!

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