Nutrition & Its Relationship With Cancer
Did you know that cancer is recognized worldwide to be a major health problem, which effects millions of people each year. Fortunately, there is good news is that there are certain foods — known as so-called cancer-fighting foods — that can help combat cancer.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease with many causes, some of which include a poor diet, toxin exposure, nutrient deficiencies and to some extent genetics. One very important way to prevent and/or treat cancer is through nutrition, meaning to eat a nutrient-pack diet which is full of cancer-fighting foods and to avoid things that are known to increase chances of getting cancer risk.
Researchers have known about the dangers associated with some unhealthy habits and cancer-causing foods for decades, while others are just now emerging as possible culprits.
When it comes to help lowering inflammation in our bodies and fighting free radical damage caused by our environment, what does work?
The most important key is eating plenty of cancer-fighting foods with antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory nutrients. It is also means trying our best to avoid packaged / processed foods and focusing on raw whole foods and products that do not contain any antibiotics, chemicals or toxins. Hence, buying foods that are organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised and additive-free can greatly lower the toxic load of your diet.
In 2010, a European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), looked at dietary and nutritional factors related with higher risk of cancer that showed there is significant correlation between cancer risk and low intakes of certain nutrients.
After studying over 519,978 participants living in 10 different European nations, the results showed that those who mainly followed the style of eating similar to the mediterranean diet had the most protection against cancer.
A higher intake of cancer fighting foods like whole, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, wild caught fish, fiber and calcium-rich foods were related to a decreased risk of certain cancers. However, a higher consumption of red and processed meat, alcohol consumption, a unhealthy BMI and abdominal fat / obesity were related with an increased risk of cancer.
Additionally, exercising / being physically active and getting enough vitamin D (from supplementation or being in the sunlight) also helped lower cancer risk.
Top 5 Cancer-Causing Foods
- Processed Meats
- Fried, Burnt and Overly Cooked Foods
- Added Sugar
- Foods High in Additives
- Rice Products
Top 12 Cancer-Fighting Foods
- Leafy Green Vegetables (like Spinach, Kale, Arugula)
- Cruciferous Vegetables (like Broccoli, Cauliflower or Brussels sprouts)
- Berries (like Blueberries, Cherries, Camu Camu)
- Orange Coloured Fruits and Veggies (like Oranges, Lemons, Squash, Sweet Potatoes)
- Fresh Herbs and Spices (Turmeric, Cayenne, Ginger, Garlic, Basil)
- Organic / Hormone Free Meats
- Fermented Dairy Products (like Yogurt, Kefir)
- Nuts and Seeds (like Chia Seed, Flaxseed, Hemp Seed)
- Unrefined Oils & Good Fats (like Coconut Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Cod Liver Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Mushrooms (Reishi, Cordyceps and Maitake)
- Potent Antioxidant Teas (Matcha, Green tea, Herbal teas)
- Wild-Caught Fish (Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines)
(NIH) National Institutes of Health