Cancer prevention by food- The relation between cancer and diet
Cancer is a deadly malaise, but with a little bit of awareness, factors such as lifestyle and diet that are within your control can help you ward off or fight it better. Many times, we unknowingly consume foods that increase our risk for cancer or avoid those that may actually help us fight better. Here’s a list of some cancer preventing power foods and how best you could use them to prevent the disease.
Cancer prevention with foods
Research suggests that vegetarians are at a 50% lesser chance of developing cancer than those who consume meat. However, while a vegetarian diet is considered to be the best way to prevent cancer, you don’t need to go strictly vegan. In general, ensure that your plate comprises at least 2 portions of whole grains, vegetables, beans and fruits and no more than one portion of fish or meat.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that are thought to stop cancer causing substances from forming in your body, in the first place. They also help accelerate DNA repair and destroy existing cancer cells. It is known to fight bacteria that cause stomach cancer and also counts as one of the colon cancer preventing foods.
There are three things that make carrots a super-food for fighting cancer- beta-carotene, phytochemicals, falcarinol. Falcarinol, a natural pesticide, is thought to guard against the development of cancer cells, while beta carotene retards the growth of cancerous cells. Phytochemicals and other vitamins also make carrots one of the foods preventing esophageal cancer.
In addition, carrots release antioxidants that are also believed to fight the HPV virus, which is a major cause of cervical cancer.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale etc. contain phytochemicals that produce protective enzymes to fight cancer.
Tomatoes and other lycopene containing foods
Tomatoes contain lycopene that gives it its red color and makes it one among prostate cancer preventing foods- the same element can also be gained from watermelons, pink grapefruit or red bell peppers.
Cancer fighting fiber
Brown rice, whole grain wheat, fresh fruits like pears, bananas and apples(with the skin on), fresh carrots, celery and bell peppers are some of the best ways to add cancer fighting fiber to your diet. However, fiber absorbs water- so as you increase the fiber in your diet, remember to balance it with plenty of water intake.
Cancer causing foods to avoid
Cut down on meat. Avoid red meat and processed meat. Substitute with lean meats and organic meat.
How to get the most out of cancer preventing foods
- Peel garlic cloves and chop them. Let them sit for about 15 minutes before cooking. This way the cancer fighting sulfur compounds get activated and help you put up a stronger fight.
- Carrots are better when they are eaten raw rather than when they’re cooked. But if you must cook them, it is better to boil them whole, and then cut them after they’re done to preserve its nutrients.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables and try including at least some raw fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Use spices and herbs like garlic, ginger, turmeric, basil etc. while cooking- besides adding flavor, they pack a punch of healthy nutrients too!