When it comes to the question of whether you'll get cancer, it often seems that your fate is a mysterious combination of factors beyond your control. We all know someone who smoked, drank and ate bacon every day yet escaped a diagnosis. And far more disheartening, we also know people who lived a virtuously healthy life only to develop the disease. Add to that the confusion over what actually is the right way to avoid the Big C. In fact, three in four people believe there are so many recommendations about preventing breast, colon, lung and other cancers that it's hard to know which guidelines to follow. The area that probably generates the most debate? Knowing what to eat. There is such an abundance of contradictory studies about food and cancer that it's nearly impossible to consider any one definitive, let alone keep them all straight. So how do you sort through myriad studies, complete with caveats and exceptions? Well, you don't, because we did it for you. SELF went to the experts and scrutinized the latest research to summarize the best cancer-fighting eating advice so far. We also looked at the news on other lifestyle factors such as stress and exercise to generate a guide that can help cancer-proof your body from head to toe. But first, a list that tells you what to forgo and what to fill up on. Let's eat! Three foods to feast on frequently Cruciferous veggies. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale are all cancer-fighting stars in the produce department, and several studies have linked them to a lower risk for colorectal, lung and stomach cancers, says Lawrence Kushi, Sc.D., associate director for epidemiology at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Plus, research from Michigan State University in East Lansing found that those who ate raw or lightly cooked cabbage and sauerkraut more than three times a week were 72 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who had 1.5 or fewer servings. Experts suspect vegetables such as cabbage contain chemicals that turn on your body's natural detoxifying enzymes, Kushi explains How much to eat. You can't have too much, but five weekly half-cup servings is a reasonable goal. High-fiber anything. Fiber's ability to keep things moving appears to have a protective effect not only on the colon (no surprise) but also on the breasts. Researchers in Sweden followed more than 61,000 women and discovered that those who consumed more than 4.5 servings of whole grains daily had a 35 percent lower risk for colon cancer. Because fiber speeds the passage of stool through the colon, cells have less exposure to potentially carcinogenic waste. Roughage may also sop up excess estrogen and insulin, two hormones linked to breast cancer. How much to eat. Aim for 25 grams (from food) a day. A half cup of a high-fiber cereal, such as All-Bran or Fiber One, can provide about half your daily dose. Beans, whole-grain breads with added fiber, fruit and veggies can help get you there, too. Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium. Your breasts and colon may get protection from this vitamin/mineral combo. Scientists who reviewed 10 studies found that those who consume high amounts of dairy products have a lower risk for colorectal cancer, likely because of calcium's protective effect, according to a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The two nutrients may also help ward off early breast cancer by suppressing the effects of hormones. How much to consume. Women under 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium and at least 400 international units of vitamin D a day. Fortified milk and orange juice are good sources of both. Two foods to enjoy often Tomatoes and berries. There's a bit of evidence that tomatoes and tomato products may reduce the risk for gastric, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers. The theory: Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color, may help prevent cell damage. The research, however, is far from proven. "It is one thing to show effects in tissue culture, and another thing to demonstrate conclusively that these effects translate into real health effects in people," Kushi says. Still, these foods are absolutely healthy, so SELF says, Eat them! Berries, too, have their share of fans, but evidence of their anticancer benefits is still being gathered. Certainly, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which protect against cell damage. But as with tomatoes, it's not clear if the findings hold up in the real world. Again, this is not a time to wait for the science to catch up — consuming a variety of fruit and veggies will always be good for you. How much to eat. Make berries and tomatoes a part of your nine fruit and veggie servings a day. Sneak in extra amounts by tossing some berries on your cereal or ordering a little extra sauce for your pasta.