Foods To Include And Avoid In Your Cancer Diet
We need food to sustain, but we also need the right ones to lead a disease-free life. With rising incidences of cancer worldwide, scientists are working to formulate newer medicines and therapies. Some say it's all in the genes, while others say it is in our surroundings. While we cannot control the external factors, we can choose one better option to remain healthy, that is food . By controlling what and how we eat, we can lower our cancer risk to a great extent. Let us learn about anti cancer foods and the food items you need to avoid to minimize cancer risk.
Foods You Can Include In Your Cancer Diet:
Plant-based foods have gained popularity for the wide variety of health benefits they provide. Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals. Let us learn about the best foods to include in your cancer diet. These foods are helpful for people who already have cancer and are also useful to lower the risk of getting cancer.
Phytochemicals are natural compounds that give plants colour, flavour, and aroma and protect them from infections that also work as anti cancer foods. They prevent the foods that we eat from converting into cancer-causing agents. They stimulate the immune system, regulate hormones, prevent DNA damage, inflammation, lower oxidative stress and slow down the rate of cancer growth.
Fruits and vegetables are enriched with antioxidants that help in lowering risk of getting cancer in the mouth, food pipe, stomach and bowel. It would be best to consume them in recommended quantities to reap the maximum benefits.
For example, spinach is a rich source of the nutrient lutein, carotenoids, and zeaxanthin with potent antioxidant properties. They help remove unwanted free radicals and toxic substances from your body before the onset of damage.
Try supplementing antioxidants through foods as much as possible as a part of your cancer diet and reduce the risk of cancer.
The recommended intake of fruits: 1 ½ to 2 cups a day
The recommended intake of vegetables: 2-3 cups daily
Omega 3 fatty acids:
Omega 3 fatty acids are another vital component consisting of several anti cancer properties. Scientists all over the world are laser-focused on omega 3 fatty acids' role in preventing cancer. Since our bodies cannot synthesize these compounds, we need to consume them through foods and supplements. These components act against inflammatory mediators and ultimately reduce inflammation. Although do not consume them in excess as they tend to cause side effects like dyspepsia, burps, gas and diarrhoea. Some examples of anti cancer foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include:
- Flax seeds
A study reported that consuming whole grains regularly can reduce the risk of cancer in the digestive tract. Whole grains contain a rich source of dietary fibre that works to lower cholesterol and speed up digestion. Along with improving metabolism, they also serve as a valuable addition to your cancer diet.
Some of the Whole grains are:
- Brown rice
Eliminate These Foods From Your Cancer Diet:
We previously discussed anti cancer foods to add to your cancer diet routine. Now let us also learn about foods you need to stay far away from if you want to avoid cancer risk:
Processed foods, especially meat, were concluded to be a convincing cancer-causing food in the study published by Key TJ et al. Limiting the intake of red meat and processed meat can reduce cancer risk. Red meat includes all kinds of meat from pork, lamb, beef, horse and goat. When these meats are processed, they are loaded with high amounts of salt, smoke and fermentation to add flavour and taste. Although meat provides valuable nutrients like proteins and vitamin B12, it is advisable to avoid processed meats.
Alcohol is not just harmful for your liver. It also has the potential to cause cancer. Drinks like beer and wine make you highly prone to cancer. It is best not to drink alcohol. The first step to minimize your alcohol consumption is noting down the quantity of alcohol you drink per day.
Sugary drinks, soda and sweetened beverages may be tasty, but they contribute significantly to weight gain. Regularly drinking sugary beverages causes excess weight gain, leading to obesity, one of the primary risk factors for cancer. Hence, whenever you feel thirsty, drink water or other unsweetened beverages.
Fast foods have fit like a glove in our fast-paced lifestyle. Fast food items like burgers, french fries and fried chicken are dense in energy and convenient to purchase. But they do come with a price to pay. Regular consumption of fast foods increases your risk of cancer and various other health issues because they are highly processed, rich in starch, sugar and contain unhealthy fats. They do no good to your anti cancer diet. Hence cutting down on fast foods is not just for weight loss but also to prevent cancer in the long run.