In the past 3 years alone, I have seen various cases of cancer among Pakistanis and this dramatic increase in the number of cancer patients has made me sad to the core. Cancer is not to be taken lightly and even though some fortunate souls survive this tiresome battle, many of them succumb to this terrible disease.

Cancer attacks people irrespective of age and gender; you will find teenagers suffering from cancer as well as young adults and seniors. There are different types of cancers and it must be mentioned that the more you have some questionable habits, the more you are in danger of being prone to cancer.

According to a survey carried out in 2012 published on Cancer Index Pakistan, from a population of 179.9 million people, almost 148,000 people are diagnosed with cancer per year and as much as 101,000 take their last breath per annum.  

In the developed countries, people have taken cancer extremely seriously and intense research is being done to find the ultimate cure and help people survive the battle for life. But what about Pakistan? As always, Pakistan is lagging behind in fighting cancer on a national level. Although many seminars and conferences are held yearly to instigate awareness about cancer among people, little is being done to overcome it.

The medication and cure of cancer is beyond the reach of a number of Pakistanis, sad to say.  Luckily, there are a number of fruits, vegetables and natural herbs that contain useful compounds that can help combat cancer and help in diminishing its spreading and consequences.

Through this article, I aim to provide you a list of important natural foods that you can incorporate in your diet starting from today. This can greatly assist in recovery process within an affordable range and by the grace of God it might take you to the winning side in no time.

GARLIC

Garlic has immensely beneficial digestive properties and can help prevent the cancers that produce in colon, esophagus and stomach. The pungent vegetable is helpful in diminishing the multiplication of cancerous cells as well as stops them from working. A clove a day is great as a start. Try using garlic as a tarka in your dishes or add minced/crushed garlic to your green tea.

BROCCOLI, CABBAGE, CAULIFLOWER

I know, broccoli is by far one of the most disgusting of all these cruciferous vegetables but it has miraculous compounds that would help in keeping cancer at bay. They are rich in sulforaphane which helps in rapid production of protective enzymes in human body. It also crushes cancerous chemicals and excretes them out from the body. You can fight prostate, stomach, skin, liver, breast and bladder cancers by weekly eating cruciferous vegetables. Incorporate them in your diet through salads, pizza or omelets. 

BERRIES 

I must say that Pakistanis don’t consume as much berries as they should, according to my observation. Berries are delicious fruits and contain powerful antioxidant properties. They are ranked among the top most natural foods that halt free radical formation in your body and prevent damage of cells. Berries are rich in anthocyanins which have the ability to kill cancerous cells and suppress their growth.  Eat berries daily to avoid or combat oral, skin, colon or esophagus cancers. There are numerous berries like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries etc to choose from. You can eat them raw or make jam and smoothies from various different berries.

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are usually used a lot in Pakistani cuisines and it is actually a great ingredient. It has excellent anti-cancerous properties and can especially help in combating prostate cancer. Tomatoes act as guards for your DNA and protect them from cancer. They also contain high amount of lycopene which is an effective antioxidant and works wonders against endometrial (womb) cancer. I personally eat tomatoes through salads but you can also make different sauces from tomatoes.

BEANS

Beans are one of the most neglected sources of antioxidants and they do not gain as much recognition as they deserve. The red kidney beans are rich in anti-cancerous compounds and antioxidants. Beans are filled with fiber and a fibrous diet is important to remain healthy and keep diseases away. Black beans and navy beans have reduced colon cancer, according to various researches. Besides, it was published in another journal that dried beans have the power to diminish breast cancer. You can consume beans weekly through salads or cook them as a snack. 

Remember, for a cancer patient and those around them, taking precautions and turning to natural remedies is less harmful than the medications and radiotherapy one has to go through on a daily basis. I am sure that if Pakistanis endorse such nutritious diets and make it a habit, we can gradually decrease the disease graph together in our country.