Prevent Oral Cancer By Eating Right

Emily Kennedy is a guest contributor for, a dental health online resource and part of the Everyday Health portfolio.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions, while not popular for breath smelling purposes, do have great qualities that fight against oral cancers. Research has suggested that adding moderate to high amounts of garlic and raw onion in your diet correlated with lessened risk of developing cancer.

Green Leafy Vegetables

We are always hearing how green leafy vegetables are so great for our health, but there is now evidence that suggests it may also help prevent cancers. Carotenoids are the key property in green leafy vegetables that can inhibit growth of cancer cells, including those cells found in oral cancers. They act as antioxidants to clean out the free radicals in your body that can lead to cancer.

Green Tea

Grab a cup of green tea in the morning instead of coffee, or at least switch it up every once in awhile to allow your body to take in its powerful properties. Green tea contains potent antioxidants, including polyphenol and epigallocatechin-3, which can cause cell destruction in tumor cells.

A recent study yielded results that showed oral cancer cells exposed to these antioxidants were almost completely destroyed. These findings were so important that green tea and the properties it possesses may be used towards an effective deterrent for cancer.


Carrots contain beta-carotene, which has anti-carcinogen properties to prevent cancer as well as help cure forms of cancer. Carrots are also known as one of nature’s toothbrushes and help eliminate and reduce plaque build-up that can cause cavities and irritated gums.


I saved my favorite for last: avocados. Avocados are filled with antioxidants our bodies need along with vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, unsaturated fats and folate. These phytochemicals may prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the mouth and may even eliminate pre-cancerous cells while other healthy cells remain intact and unaffected. Ohio State University’s Dr. Steven D’Ambrosio, who is leading this research, states that there have only been preliminary reports on avocados and reducing the risks of oral cancer. So far the research efforts point to more avocados!

For some great tips on how to look after your teeth holistically, please click here!