Lower The Risk Of Cancer With Cancer Prevention Diet
While there is no magic diet or foods that can guarantee to prevent or cure cancer, lifestyle factors which include your diet can make a huge difference in lowering your risk to develop the disease. And if you are battling cancer at present, by adopting the right diet you can maintain your strength and boost your overall emotional well being as you undergo treatment. By eating the foods that support your immune system and avoiding cancer-causing foods, you can better protect your health and boost your ability to fight cancer and other diseases.
The Link Between Cancer And Your Diet
Though some of the risk factors for cancer such as genetics and environment are uncontrollable, about 70 % of the cancer risk is within your power to change including diet. Limiting alcohol, avoiding cigarettes, reaching a healthy weight, healthy diet and getting regular exercise are great steps to prevent cancer. There are certain dietary factors that can have a major influence on your risk. For example, eating a traditional Mediterranean diet which is rich in vegetables, fruits and healthy fats like olive oil lowers your risk for a variety of common cancers. If you have a family history of cancer, just by making small changes to your diet and behaviors you can make a big difference to your health.
Building Your Cancer-Prevention Diet
To lower the risk of cancer, you must include antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, whole grains and healthy fats in your diet. You must also try to limit the amount of fried and processed foods, sugars, unhealthy fats and refined carbs you consume.
Lowering the risk with antioxidants
Antioxidants are found in plant-based foods and these are known to boost your immune system and protect against cancer cells. Fruit rich diets lower the risk of stomach and lung cancer. Vegetable containing carotenoids – carrots, squash, and Brussels sprouts reduce the risk of mouth, lung, larynx and pharynx cancer.
Non-starchy vegetables like spinach, beans and broccoli help protect against esophageal and stomach cancer. Oranges, peas, berries, bell peppers, dark leafy greens protect from esophageal cancer. Foods containing lycopene, like tomatoes, watermelon, and guava may lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Add more veggies and fruits to your diet
It is recommended to have a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In breakfast, you can add fresh fruit, seeds, nuts to a whole grain, low-sugar breakfast cereal like oatmeal. For lunch, you can have salad filled with your favorite peas and beans or other veggies like tomato, lettuce, or avocado.
For snacks grab an apple or banana. Dip celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers in hummus. Keep a trail mix made of nuts and dried fruits handy. Add fresh veggies to your favorite rice or pasta dish. Top a baked potato with sautéed veggies, broccoli or salsa. In dessert choose fruits instead of sugary desserts.
Fill up with fiber and choose healthy fats
Fiber also known as roughage is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and plays a major role in keeping your digestive system healthy and clean. It helps keep the carcinogenic compounds moving through the digestive tracts before they can cause harm. High fiber diet can help prevent colorectal cancer and common digestive system cancers of stomach, mouth, and pharynx.
Avoid unhealthy or Trans fats found in cookies, muffins, cakes, pizza dough, French fries, etc. Also, limit saturated fat from dairy and red meat to less than 10 % of your daily calories. Add more unsaturated fats from olive oil, fish, nuts, avocados. The omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna, salmon, and flaxseeds can fight inflammation and support heart and brain health.
Other Lifestyle Tips To Prevent Cancer
Though your diet is central in preventing cancer, other healthy habits can also lower your risk further. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. This is because obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers, like breast, bowel, pancreatic, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney and ovarian.
Be active for at least 30 minutes every day as it reduces the risk of endometrial, colon and postmenopausal breast cancer. Healthcare product development has resulted in several innovative medical devices that can help you keep track of your activity and help plan your diet.
Limit the consumption of alcoholic drinks to no more than two drinks a day for men and one a day for women. Post-treatment, the cancer survivors must follow the recommendations for diet, physical activity and healthy weight from a trained professional or your doctor.
Shuchi Sankhyayan is a Mumbai based Content Specialist who has spent 15+ years romping around the healthcare, medical device, manufacturing, content and software industries. She is currently a Content Specialist at Technosoft Innovations, Inc. where she documents and presents the latest researches and innovations of the company in medical devices industry. She holds a graduate degree in Science and Post-Graduation degree in HR. In her spare time she is an avid reader, hobbyist and enjoys sharing medical product development knowledge and experience via her posts and articles.