By Adrian Joele
Foods like fruits and vegetables are the Ultimate Protection against the damaging effects of Cancer
Cancer is the No 1 killer in the United States.
Causing 25% of all deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. However, when it comes to cancer prevention, a healthy diet, consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can significantly reduce the risk of cancer. Research shows that if we all ate more of the right foods and less of the wrong ones, the change of getting cancer would be reduced by 30%. Diet plays an important role when dealing with cancer. There are compounds in foods that can both prevent and help fight cancer at the cellular level.
Research recommends eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
This will reduce cancer deaths by 35%. One study, in particular, found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer – a particularly deadly one – in half. Recently researchers discovered the reason why plant foods offer such powerful cancer protection. Certain compounds found only in plant foods and known as phytonutrients (from the Greek word phyto, meaning plant ), have the ability to stop cancer.
Research has proved that eating just one serving of watermelon or pink grapefruit a day can reduce man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 82%! Watermelon and pink grapefruit are high in a phytonutrient called lycopene. In fact, watermelon contains about 40% more lycopene than fresh tomatoes – the vegetable most people probably think of when they think of lycopene.
When processed into sauce, juice or ketchup, however, tomatoes do yield more usable lycopene. Interestingly, a recent study found that organic ketchup has up to three times more lycopene than ordinary kinds. Probably because organic ketchup is made with riper tomatoes than other types of ketchup. The darker red the ketchup is, the greater its lycopene content.
The Power of Antioxidants
Every day, your body is under attack of free radicals, harmful molecules who have lost an electron. Nature anticipated this damaging threat by packing fruits, vegetables, and other foods with antioxidants, protective compounds that either stop or disable the formation of free radicals before they have a chance to do harm.
Besides the many compounds in foods that act as antioxidants in the body, two in particularly powerful and best studied are beta-carotene and vitamin C. Beta-carotene is the pigment that gives many fruits and vegetables their lush, deep orange to red hues. However, it’s more than nature’s palette. Beta-carotene has been shown to stimulate the release of natural killer cells, which hunt down and destroy cancer cells before they can cause damage.
You don’t need a lot of beta-carotene to get the benefits. Research recommends getting 15 to 30 mg/day – the amount provided by one or two large carrots – is probably all it takes. Cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, spinach, and bok choy are all excellent choices of beta-carotene.
Another antioxidant, vitamin C, has been shown to help to prevent the formation of cancer-causing compounds in the digestive tract. The Daily Value for vitamin C is 60 mg, which is very easy to get from foods.
Beans as a cancer fighter
Beans are high in magnesium and can reduce the formation of colon cancer by 23%. Only a half cup of beans provides 43 mg magnesium, which is almost 11% of the Daily Value of 400mg.
Beans also protect against breast cancer. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate beans twice a week had a 24% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who seldom ate them.
Drink red wine as protection
According to a study of more than 3,400 men by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, drinking a 4-ounce glass of red wine a day may cut a man’s risk of prostate cancer in half. Which wine is best? Researchers at the University of Mississippi tested 11 different types of red wine and found that Pinot Noir from California has the most resveratrol, an antioxidant that can help ward off cancer and even heart attacks.
Tea is the second most popular beverage. It has recently been shown to fight cancer. A Swedish study of 61,000 women found that those who drank 2 cups of tea a day lowered their risk of ovarian cancer by 46%.
Researchers examined 63 studies and revealed that milk has high levels of vitamin D and cut the risk of colon, ovarian and breast cancer by up to 50%. Researchers recommend getting 1000 IU of vitamin D per day. One cup of milk contain 100 IU vitamin D.
Fiber against cancer
Fiber is not a nutrient and was not taken seriously for a long time. AS it turned out, fiber does more than anyone ever imagined. Consuming a high-fiber diet is essential for reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Fiber works against cancer in several ways. Since fiber is absorbent, it soaks up water as it moves through the digestive tract. This makes stools larger. And the more quickly stools move, the less time there is for any harmful substances they contain to damage the cells lining the intestine. Also, fiber helps trap cancer-causing substances in the colon.
If you pick the right foods, Beans and certain vegetables are the best sources of fiber. A half-cup of kidney beans contains 7 grams of fiber, and the same amount of chickpeas contains 5 grams. Whole grains are also good sources of fiber.
About the Author
I have been involved in nutrition and weight management for over 12 years. I like to share my knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. Also, I like to help people solve their problems. For more info about nutrition and weight loss, visit: http://www.nutrobalance2.net
Article source: Amazines