What Role Does Nutrition Play in Preventing Cancers?
Everyone recognizes that proper nutrition is very important. Yet we continue to disregard that knowledge at times in lieu of a slab of pie topped with two scoops of ice cream. But these poor food choices add up.
In regards to cancer prevention, the first thing to do is to stop and think before you eat. It is important to have reliable and solid information about which cancer-fighting foods will bolster an immune system that will go a long way towards a healthy life.
The baseline approach to cancer prevention is strict adherence to the Big Three: stop smoking, limit alcohol, and get exercise. But what about cancer-fighting foods? The key is not just about what you select, but also how you prepare it.
Less Fat, More Fiber
You can create thousands of crunchy and satisfying means from a primarily plant-based diet, one that supports food derived from fruits, veggies, beans, grains and nuts. You will yield the biggest benefit from these foods when the goodness is not boiled or peeled out of them, but when they are consumed in their “whole” form to enjoy the maximum benefits.
The nutrients in plant-based foods and the fiber they contain combine for a powerful meal. You can add fresh or frozen vegetables to whatever you’re cooking. Try giving them “center stage” as opposed to relegating them to just a side dish. Although research has shown that vegetarians have a 50% less chance of developing cancers than meat eaters, you needn’t become a vegetarian, but you can make a lean piece of meat the meal’s side dish, not the main attraction. (A serving of meat should be roughly the size of a bar of soap.)
Because fiber helps keep food moving through your digestive tract, it supports a smoothly operating system. By keeping food moving effectively, it also moves cancer-causing compounds out before they can create harm. You can add fruit, veggies, seeds, and nuts to anything you like. Be creative! (Note well however that there is no fiber in dairy, sugar, or foods like white bread, white rice, and pastries.)
It is fair to consider saturated and trans fats as the enemy of a healthy body. While the saturated fats are found in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs; trans fats, (partially hydrogenated oils), are produced when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and less likely to spoil.
Good fats are called unsaturated fats. They are derived from plant sources and maintain a liquid form at room temperature. Olive and canola oils, nuts, and avocados are essential, as are omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation while supporting brain and heart health. These are found in foods like salmon and flaxseeds. A meat-rich diet means an influx of high levels of saturated fat and a low intake of fiber – the antithesis of a cancer-fighting diet.
Your focus on a healthy lifestyle includes making choices. Instead of choosing to fuel cancer, you can instead nourish yourself with the food that will help protect you from it.