Taking preventative measures for our health is such an understated practice for many; if you find yourself in this group, it’s time to make the mental switch and start thinking about how you can build up your health now to have a better future. Before paranoia sets in, take a deep breath and remember that there are hundreds of small changes you can do in your daily life to help ensure longevity. Self provides some key tips for you execute in your kitchen. They’re simple and manageable so there’s really no excuse to not take control of these practices to help you live a longer, better, stronger life.

According to Self, “A plant-filled diet with disease-fighting phytonutrients (including antioxidants) and vitamins may reduce your risk for all kinds of cancer; plus, it’s a great way to maintain a healthy weight, which lowers your chances for breast cancer specifically. To make your kitchen healthy, shop with the list of foods to choose right and use these key cooking tips.”

couple grilling burgers and vegetables outside

Bake, don’t burn. Grilling beef, poultry or fish until it’s charred to a crisp can turn amino acids and other substances in the meat into heterocyclic amines (HCAs), a class of compounds that’s been linked to cancer, says Kenneth Turteltaub, Ph.D., of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Marinating your meat — particularly soaking it in a mix of cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and spices — can create a barrier between the hot surface and the meat, lowering the temperature and reducing HCA formation.

Spice things up. Herbs and spices are a healthy way to dress up your veggies. Plus, lab and animal research suggests that the antioxidants in spices, such as curcumin in turmeric, may also have cancer-combating effects.

FOODS TO STOCK UP ON

berries

Antioxidants

  • Brazil nuts
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fruit (bananas, berries—especially blueberries—cherries, plums, pomegranate, red grapes, tomatoes and tomato sauce)
  • Green and black tea
  • Vegetables (artichokes, avocados, brussels sprouts, carrots, onions)

Other Phytochemicals

  • Apples
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetables (broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, mustard greens, spinach)

woman shopping in the produce section for fresh vegetables

Want to get the rest of these cancer fighting foods? Click here to be taken to the original story on Self.

>>Read more: 4 Ways to Use Your Diet to Combat Cancer Risks