Foods Reduce your Risk of Cancer
As simple as it sounds, eating better really can reduce your risks of developing most forms of cancer. Research continues to pour in, confirming that a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber from a predominantly plant-based diet, can drastically improve your chances of avoiding cancer.
Unfortunately, no single food can knock out cancer risk by itself. Rather, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that we consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, that take up 2/3 of our plates at mealtime. We need to avoid fried vegetables, cooked in saturated fats; and eat multi-grain or whole grain breads.
Karen Collins, RD, nutritional advisor for the AICR, suggests, “If you have two-thirds of plant food on your plate that seems to be enough to avoid excessive amounts of food high in saturated fat.” Collins recommends that people not used to eating such a plant-rich diet start slow, introducing one new vegetable at a time and ramping up to a consistent mealtime ritual that includes two to three fruits and vegetables at every meal. Snacking on fresh fruits in between meals can also be a great way to supplement the diet.
There are specific foods that we need to target for their cancer fighting attributes foods containing the vitamin, folate, vitamin D and other antioxidants, show the most promise in warding off cancer.
Also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, folate is essential in the synthesis and repair of DNA throughout the body. When we are deficient in levels of folate (a water-soluble vitamin), mutations in DNA are more likely to occur, contributing to various forms of cancer. Adequate levels on the other hand, tend to prevent such mutations. Appreciable amounts of folate can be found in orange juice, spinach, beans, nuts and other leafy vegetables. Likewise, many foods like cereals are fortified with vitamin B9. Of course, a good quality, multi-vitamin supplement can provide all the daily folate needs for proper body function in a convenient and easy to take form.
Vitamin D is a key vitamin, used in conjunction with calcium, to build and strengthen the bones and teeth. Research has also shown that this essential fat-soluble vitamin curbs the growth of cancerous cells, especially in cases of breast cancer. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research concluded that increased intake of vitamin D can lower the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 50%. High levels of vitamin D can be found in milk, eggs, and many seafood choices. Your body can actually synthesize its own vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Now you have one more reason to get outside, exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.
Green tea originated in China and green tea has received extensive citations on the health benefits from fighting cancer, increased energy to lowering cholesterol. Flavonoids have come to be known for their antioxidant properties, and green tea is loaded with these cancer fighting compounds. Drinking green tea has been linked to lowering ovarian and breast cancer risks in women by several well supported and documented studies. If you do not like the taste of green tea, there are green tea supplements that are available with green tea extract to help you get your share of the beneficial components in green tea.
Cruciferous vegetables can be delicious and are certainly effective in fighting cancer. Cruciferous vegetables are members of the cabbage family that include kale, turnip greens, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Try these wonderful green and healthy choices for their cancer-fighting effects of consuming cruciferous vegetables that has been documented for colon and prostate cancer. They are chock full of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that defend against cancer.
The best food defenses against cancer come in a variety of forms but exist in the greatest potency with the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Load your plate with plant-based foods and reduce your risks for developing cancer. The foods we eat make a difference in living a healthy life.