Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cancer Prevention Nutrition Tips

It's World Food Day and Blog Action Day while it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month - so I decided to combine all those together and blog about the healthiest diet that helps in cancer prevention! Of course, cancer is a mutli-factorial chronic disease with genetic factors as well as environmental, personal and dietary ones affecting its incidence. So why not control what is modifiable! Whatever the situation, your dietary choices matter! Some foods actually increase your risk of cancer, while others support your body. By making smart food choices, you can protect your health, feel better, and boost your ability fight off diseases.

Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths are linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. Avoiding cigarettes, minimizing alcohol, and getting regular exercise are a great to an anti-cancer lifestyle. But to best support your health, you also need to look at your eating habits.

Focus on plant-based foods  - Plants have less fat, more fiber and more cancer-fighting nutrients. These 3 work together to support your immune system! The best diet that aid in preventing cancer is a plant-based diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, beans, seeds and nuts!You don't to go completely vegetarian, just aim to have at least 2/3rds of your intake of whole grains, vegetables, beans, or fruit while keep 1/3rd for dairy products, fish and meats.

A fresh bowl of salad will
boost up your fiber intake!
Bulk up on fiber - Another benefit of eating plant-based foods is that it will also increase your fiber intake. Fiber is the part of plants (grains, fruits, and vegetables) that your body doesn't have enzymes to digest. Fiber plays a key role in keeping your digestive system clean, healthy and it keeps food moving through your digestive tract thus moving cancer-causing molecules out with it.Now, the more natural and unprocessed your food is, the higher in fiber it is. So have fiber from more brown, bran, whole-grain, whole-wheat, whole, skin-containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, seeds and nuts! And keep on mind that meat, dairy, sugary, and processed white foods (white bread, white rice, pastries, etc.) are very low in fibers! 

Cut down on meats - Research shows that vegetarians are about 50% less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. Why? Because meat lacks fiber and other nutrients that have been shown to have cancer-protective properties while having lots of fat - saturated ones. High-fat diets have been linked to higher rates of cancer especially saturated fat. Moreover, it also depends on how meat is prepared. When charred, those black bits are shown to be carcinogenic compounds!
So you can cut down your cancer risk substantially by reducing the amount of animal-based products you eat and by choosing healthier meats. Keep red meats to minimum, choose leaner options such as fish, chicken or turkey while avoiding processed meats (sausages, makanek, salami, deli meats, hotdogs) to the max!

Liquid fats - unsaturated ones -
are your best bet
Choose your fats wisely - A major benefit of cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is that you will automatically cut out a lot of saturated, unhealthy fat. However, don't cut down fat entirely, nope! In fact, some types of fat may actually protect against cancer. The wisdom lies in choosing your fats wisely and eat them in moderation.
-- Fats that increase cancer risk have been shown to be
: saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products and eggs. Trans fats, could be also called partially hydrogenated oils (check your nutrition facts labels), are created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and increase their shelf life - something food for industries but horrible for you.
-- Fats that help in decreasing caner risk are unsaturated ones, the more liquidy fats. They are from plant sources such as olive oil, canola oil, olives, nuts and avocados. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna and flaxseeds. 

Choose cancer-fighting foods - Your immune system does a great job to fight off unhealthy molecules but there are many ways in which you can help strengthen in even more. There is not miracle foods of course, only those that will help your body fight off diseases.So increase your anti-oxidants intake from fruits and vegetables, eat brighter-colored foods, throw in some spices in your meal (and be creative!) while drinking lots of water!

The way you cook your food is as important
as what you eat!
Don't forget that the way you cook/store your food is as important as what you choose to eat!
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables, they have the least leached vitamins and minerals 
  • Steam foods with the least amount of water possible, you don't want to lose those cancer-fighting compounds!
  • Go for fresh meats and avoid processed and cured meats with preservatives such as hotdogs, deli meats, sausages and bacon!
  • Don't overcook your BBQ to burn or char your meats to be dead smoky!
  • Don't cook oils on high heat like deep/pan frying. Instead bake, broil, boil or steam!
  • Store your foods wisely - Store oils in dark, dry and cool places to decrease the risk of rancidity and avoid moldy foods. Keep foods fresh and cool!

-- You are what you eat, so make every bite count!

Information sources

2 comments:

  1. Amazing tips to prevent cancer! Easy to follow too. People should make conscious efforts in order to avoid the onset of cancer.

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  2. nice blog
    great information
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