A cancer diet is an essential strategy you can use to reduce your risk of cancer. What you eat can dramatically affect many aspects of your health, including the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Cancer development, in particular, is highly influenced by your diet. Many foods contain beneficial compounds that may help decrease cancer growth. Several studies show that a higher intake of certain foods could be associated with a lower risk.
What is The Link Between Cancer and Diet?
Some cancer risk factors, such as genetics and the environment, are beyond your control. Research suggests that approximately 70% of your lifetime cancer risk is within your power to change, including your diet. Avoiding cigarettes, limiting alcohol, reaching a healthy weight, and exercising are significant steps to prevent cancer. Adopting a healthy diet can also play a vital role.
What you eat and don’t eat can have a powerful effect on your health, including your cancer risk. While research tends to point out associations between specific foods and cancer, rather than strong cause-and-effect relationships, certain eating habits can significantly influence your risk. For example, having a traditional Mediterranean diet filling in fruits, vegetables, and healthy oils like olive oil can decrease the risk of a variety of common cancers, including breast cancer. Conversely, a diet that includes a daily serving of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
If you have a history of cancer in your family, making small changes to your diet and behavior can make a big difference to your long-term health. And if you’ve already been diagnosed with cancer, eating a nutritious diet can help you improve your mood and strengthen your body during this difficult time.
The American Cancer Society recommends, for example, that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily and that you eat the right amount of food to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, researchers are discovering that certain foods that prevent cancer can be an essential part of an anti-cancer diet.
While selecting foods to fight cancer at the grocery store and lunchtime cannot guarantee cancer prevention, good choices can reduce your risk.
Anti-Cancer Diet Guidelines for Women
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that are believed to reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Eating more plant-based foods also gives you little room for foods high in sugar. Instead of consuming processed or sugary foods, eat fruits and vegetables as snacks.
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and can be an essential part of a cancer diet. Green tea, a cancer-fighting food, may help prevent cancer of the liver, breast, pancreas, lung, esophagus, and skin.
In Mediterranean countries, this monounsaturated fat is widely used in cooking and salad oil and can be a cancer-fighting food. Breast cancer cases are 50 times lower in Mediterranean countries than in the United States.
Red grapes have seeds full of super antioxidant active. Also found in red wine and red grape juice, this cancer chemical can offer significant protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic degenerative diseases.
Garlic and Onion
Research has found that garlic and onions can block the formation of nitrosamines, potent carcinogens that attack various sites in the body, usually the colon, liver, and breasts. The spicier the garlic or onion, the more abundant the chemically active sulfur compounds that prevent cancer.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and herring contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fatty acid that has been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. If you’re not currently eating fish, you might consider adding it to your cancer diet. Another way to add omega-3s to your diet is by eating flaxseeds.
As a tasty delicacy and cancer-fighting food, berries are hard to beat. Berries contain particularly powerful antioxidants, which means they can stop a natural process in the body that creates free radicals that can damage your cells. The compounds in the berries can also help prevent cancer from growing or spreading. So, as part of your cancer diet, grab a handful of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or whichever is your favorite from this great family of healing fruits.
Many foods have the potential to reduce the spread and growth of cancer cells, and current research is limited to laboratory, animal, and observational studies. More studies are needed to understand how these foods can directly affect the development of cancer in humans.
Meanwhile, it’s a safe bet that a diet rich in whole foods, combined with a healthy lifestyle, will improve many aspects of your health.