HealthHub Login

Antiangiogenic diet for Thyroid: 31 Foods To Help Prevent Cancer

By The Lucy Rose Clinic

January 3, 2020

It is well established that tumour and nodular growth is dependent upon angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Antiangiogenic therapy represents a new approach to the early intervention and prevention of malignant disease. It is important to note that the thyroid is not the only gland that needs this nutritional support and key nutrients. Other glandular tissue such a breast, ovarian, uterine, adrenal, lymphatic and prostate require similar prevention, treatment and support. If your body has developed cysts, fibroids, swelling or nodules any of these areas it is common to have these same states in your thyroid. See below the foods of an antiangiogenic diet.

Apples and apple cider vinegar:

Epidemiological studies have provided evidence that apples have cancer-preventive properties, particularly against lung and colorectal cancers. In the Nurses Health Study involving 77,000 women, a significantly lower risk for lung cancer was observed among women for increases of 1 serving per day of apples or pears. Similar results were obtained from a Finnish cohort study involving 10,000 men and women. The results of a case-control study conducted in Hawaii with 528 lung cancer cases and 528 controls found a statistically significant decrease in lung cancer risk with increased consumption of apples and onions, which are rich sources of the flavonoid quercetin. Fresh apple cider and vinegars may maintain many of the anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory benefits that apples do.

Bright red and orange vegetables:

These are rich in many potent health molecules Betacryptoxanthin, Beta carotene, Vitamin A and retinoids. Beta-carotene is a natural red-orange pigment that inhibits the proliferation and migration of cells in lab studies. Beta-carotene supplements given to volunteers resulted in a reduction of the lymphangiogenesis growth factor (VEGF-D) circulating in their blood serum of male smokers. The skin of these coloured veges in richer in antioxidants than the flesh.


A great source of the polyphenols Procyanidin antioxidants. Recent research has indicated additional benefits of cinnamon to include the inhibition of the main protein that stimulates angiogenesis, known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Recently, polyphenols extracted from various plants, including soy, berry, pomegranate, grape seed extract and green tea, have been found to be potent inhibitors of angiogenesis.

Cruciferous vegetables:

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, mustard greens, radishes, brussel sprouts, bok choy, and kale. These provide indole-3-carbinol which is important for preventing angiogenesis, and also aids in the detoxification of excess estrogens. Broccoli sprouts can contain more cancer-fighting properties than regular broccoli. Chinese cabbage also contains brassinin, a phytoalexin antioxidant. If treating low thyroid function these are not recommended due to goitrogen content, unless iodine sufficiency has been established by an integrated practitioner.

Cacoa beans and raw cocoa:

Cacao contains a high concentration of phenolic molecules that have anti-angiogenic activity. Unfermented, sun-dried cocao beans have a total polyphenol content of 7g/100g. Fermentation and roasting, which renders the familiar chocolate flavor, retains polyphenols to a level of 2g/100g). Cocoa powder, the defatted part of the cacao bean, has one of the highest concentration of polyphenols of any food, over 8% by total weight. Proanthocyanidins accounts for 60% of the total polyphenol content in cacao. Of different types of cocoa powder tested, natural cocoa had the highest level ofepicatechin , which is well-absorbed in the digestive system.  Quercetin is also a major flavonol in cocoa powder. In vitro studies have demonstrated anti-angiogenic effects of these molecules. Procyanidins in cacao inhibit the growth of human endothelial cells that comprise blood vessels. In laboratory studies, polyphenols extracted from commercial cocoa powder inhibited expression of the pro-angiogenesis growth factor VEGF by more than two-fold. Of different types of cocoa powder tested, natural cocoa had the highest level of epicatechin , which is well-absorbed in the digestive system.


Contains Alliin and (organosulfur allyl) disulfide. A large-scale EPIC study demonstrated that a diet high in garlic and onion consumption was associated with a 21% risk reduction for ovarian cancer. Case control studies in Italy and Switzerland have demonstrated that moderate to high consumption of onion and garlic reduces cancer risk. A separate study investigating the possible mechanisms behind these cancer fighting effects found aged garlic extract to inhibit colorectal carcinoma cell proliferation and epithelial blood vessels from proliferating and migrating thus inhibiting tumor cell development. Glucosinolate precursors are also responsible for the strong, pungent flavor of raw onions and garlic and they account for much of the characteristic bitterness of cabbages and their relatives.

Green tea:

Contains Polyphenol catechins. Recently a study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that identified the presence of epigallocatechin, a polyphenol present in green tea that has been demonstrated in preclinical studies to inhibit angiogenesis and cancer cell proliferation, and suppress inflammation.

Mulberries, black berries, blue berries, pomegranates, cranberries and red grapes:

Contains resveratrol Procyanidins and high in ellagitannins and Anthocyanins. The phenolic constituents in blueberries include chlorogenic acid, p-coumaric acid, hyperoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, isoorientin, isovitexin, orientin and vitexin. Extracts of blueberries have been found to suppress the expression of angiogenic factors (VEGF ) from cells in culture, and to reduce the proliferation of various human cancer cell lines (oral, breast, colon, and prostate).

Contain Ellagitannins are found in high levels not only in the edible arils but also in the peel of the fruit, which is not usually consumed but may be part of the juice extraction by some processors—in fact, polyphenol extraction increases 6.5-fold when the whole fruit is processed compared to juice from arils alone. Ellagitannins have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer in both in vitro and in vivo laboratory.   In animal testing, pomegranate juice, when given as a 20% solution, reduced the incidence of colon cancer. In the study, pomegranate extract inhibited both angiogenesis and tumor growth. In vitro, pomegranate inhibited the secretion of two key angiogenesis-stimulating proteins, VEGF and HIF-1 alpha, which are produced during hypoxia. Tumor cells secrete these proteins to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Pomegranate also inhibited the proliferation of hormone dependent prostate cancer cells under hypoxic conditions. In the mice, pomegranate significantly decreased tumor size and blood vessel density, another marker of angiogenesis activity, compared to control mice.

Olive oil:

Olive oil is particularly rich in the omega-9 fatty acid oleic acid and in polyphenols, which have anti-angiogenesis activity. Oleic acid has been found to suppress blood vessel cells in laboratory studies, and to suppress metastases in animals bearing experimental lung cancers. In other animal studies, the polyphenol DPE in olive oil was found to reduce tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-induced activation of inflammation. In addition, DPE inhibits the prostaglandin-E synthase, hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 α), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), all pro-angiogenic factors that help cancers grow their own blood supply. The DPE-treated mice had reduced tumor size and cell proliferation.  In addition oleocanthol in olive oil has anti-inflammatory COX-inhibitory activity, which decreases prostaglandins, and suppresses angiogenesis. It has been estimated that 4 tbsp of olive oil imparts the same anti-inflammatory effect as 1/10 of an adult dose of ibuprofen. Luteolin is a flavone that inhibits the angiogenesis growth factor VEGF.

Many epidemiological studies demonstrate olive oil’s chemopreventative properties. An Italian study with 27,000 participants showed an inverse relationship between olive oil consumption and breast, oral, and pharyngeal cancers. Other studies have shown that olive oil consumption significantly reduced the risk for developing upper aerodigestive tract, laryngeal, colorectal, ovarian, esophageal, and lung cancers.


The popularity of quinoa has grown in recent years due to its high nutritional value, a high concentration of protein and essential amino acids, dietary fiber, unsaturated fats, and various vitamins and minerals. Quinoa also contains beneficial polyphenols that may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. A recent study identified a number of phenolic compounds in quinoa that have demonstrated anti-cancer activity in preclinical studies. Another interesting component of quinoa are saponins—bitter-tasting chemicals common to many types of plants. While saponins can be mildly toxic, they also have anti-tumor and antiangiogenic activities and are sometimes used as an adjunct to chemotherapy.

Red onion:

Rich in quercetain, an antioxidant that can actually recycle your other essential nutrients. Quercetin inhibits enzymes such as MMP-2 and MMP-9 secreted from tumor cells that allow metastases, and also inhibits endothelial blood vessel cells from proliferating, migrating, and forming tubes.

Case control studies in Italy and Switzerland have demonstrated that moderate to high consumption of onions reduces cancer risk. There was a 73% risk reduction for ovarian cancer and an 88% risk reduction for esophageal cancer in those who consumed more than 7 servings/week than for those who consumed less than 1 serving/week.  Additionally, in an separate Dutch study, eating at least half an onion per day was associated with a 50% risk reduction for gastric cancer. The large-scale EPIC study demonstrated that higher consumption of onions was associated with a 21% risk reduction for ovarian cancer.

Sesame seeds:

Sesamin, a lignan, has been shown to be effective against many different cancer types both in vitro and in vivo, through a variety of angiogenesis-based mechanisms. In a study, sesamin extracted from unroasted sesame seed oil inhibited growth in the induction of programmed cell death (apoptosis) on lymphoid leukemia cells. Another study of sesamin on human breast cancer cells found that it potently inhibited proangiogenic activity of breast cancer cells by inhibiting MMP-9 and VEGF induction. Yet another study of sesamin isolated from sesame seeds found that the lignan inhibited the proliferation of a wide variety of tumour cells including leukemia, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the colon, prostate, breast, pancreas, and lung, through the suppression of NF-kappa B-regulated cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis gene products.

Soy products:

If treating thyroid dysfunction this is not recommended due to goitrogen content, unless iodine sufficiency has been established. Although controversial in many dietary recommendations, soy is a natural source of genistein which influences cellular energy cycle.  The antiangiogenic activity of genistein was initially detected in a study of healthy Japanese individuals who consumed a traditional soy-rich Japanese diet. Their urine was found to contained genistein and daidzein and to inhibit angiogenesis in cultured cells. In men who consumed a Japanese versus Western diet, urinary genistein was 7052 nmol/day compared to 184.4 nmol/day, respectively. In prostate cancer patients, drinking 500 mL of soy a day for 6 months either reduced their levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or prolonged PSA doubling time by more than two times.

Squid, shrimp and oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, trout):

Source of omega-3 fatty acids. Both preclinical and epidemiological studies suggest that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are cancer preventative. Omega-3 PUFAs inhibit angiogenesis by downregulating angiopoietin-2 and also competitively inhibit the bioconversion of omega-6 PUFA’s into detrimental angiogenesis-promoting derivatives such as prostaglandins and arachidonic acid. Furthermore, omega-3 PUFAs have been shown to suppress the Akt/m-TOR signaling pathway. In animal models, Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to suppress a variety of tumors and to help prevent bone metastases from breast cancer.

Tomatoes, watermelon and papaya:

Supply lycopene, beta-cryptozanthin, and rutin. Lycopene is an angiogenesis inhibitor which suppresses signaling by PDGF and Platelet Activation Factor. In animal studies, lycopene suppresses cancers of the breast, liver, colon, prostate, as well as suppresses metastases. Bioavailability appears to be particularly important, and there is evidence that oil increases the absorption of lycopene in the intestinal tract.

Tomatoes also contain flavonoid molecules which inhibit angiogenesis signaling. The alkaloid, tomatine is a molecule in the stems and leaves of tomato plants that has also been found to inhibit the COX-2 pathway in cells.

Yellow vegetables and sweet potato:

A natural antioxidant called Lutein is yellow carotenoid made by plants to balance over production of chlorophyll (green plant pigment) from sunlight. In experimental animals bearing breast cancer cells, dietary lutein at 0.002% was been shown to inhibit tumour angiogenesis, and result in tumours that were 40% smaller in size. It is necessary to know, although antioxidants are present in the skin of orange or yellow veggies, only a few are found in the flesh so wash but don’t peel! A study published the International Journal of Cancer found that premenopausal women who consumed large amounts of sweet potatoes and other carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables had a 20% lower risk of breast cancer compared with those who consumed the least.

Book a call with one of our expert team to access food intolerance testing, and consults to craft a truly healing dietary plan for you. CLICK HERE to book in now.

  • 2012
  • The Angiogenesis Foundation (
  • Eat to Defeat Cancer ( Dr. William Li, Medical Director
  • Gómez-Caravaca AM, et al. Simultaneous determination of phenolic compounds and saponins in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd) by a liquid chromatography—diode array detection—electrospray ionization—time-of-flight mass spectrometry methodology. J Agric Food Chem 2011;59:10815-10825.
  • Man S, et al. Chemical study and medical application of saponins as anti-cancer agents. Fitoterapia 2010;81:703-714
  • Sartippour MR, et al. Int J Oncol 2008;32:475-80.
  • Roderick Smith, M.S, Giovannucci E, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst 2002;94;391-8.
  • Maskarinec G. Nutr and Cancer 2009;61(5):573-579
  • Korde LA, Wu AH, Fears T, et al. Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
  • Su SJ, Yeh TM, Chuang WJ, et al. The novel targets for anti-angiogenesis and genistein on human cancer cells. Biochem Pharmacol 2005;69(2):307-18. 2009;18(4):1050-1059

Related Content


Does PCOS end at menopause?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterised by hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries. While

Read More

Thyroid and ADHD Connection

Children’s health can be complex, influenced by the growth of the mind & body, and today’s article explores the potential link between thyroid and ADHD,

Read More