Nutritional that help you fight cancer

With good nutritional and right tools, you might be able to fight cancer. Experts believe now, more than ever, you have the power to live a cancer-free life

With the right tools, your body might be able to protect itself from cancer. Experts believe now, more than ever, you have the power to live a cancer-free life. Choose to eat a balanced diet, to exercise, to avoid smoking and drinking, and you’ll be choosing a lifestyle for cancer prevention.

With your new daily menu in place, cut your risk even more by exercising. Healthy eating combined with exercise will help control your weight. If you are 20 to 30 percent over the average weight for your age, sex, and height, you are considered obese and that carries its own risks. Obese women are more likely to get cancer of the breast, uterus, ovary, and gallbladder. For obese men, it’s colon and prostate cancer.

In addition to watching your diet and exercising, if you cut out smoking and drinking, you could prevent up to 70 percent of all cancers. No wonder experts say cancer prevention is in your hands.

 

Antioxidants

Fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods are powerful weapons in the war against cancer. They’re loaded with antioxidants, natural chemicals that reinforce your own anticancer defenses by fighting free radicals. Since free radicals invade your cells and create cancer, all antioxidants are essential ammo.

Many fruits and vegetables contain the big three — vitamin C, E, and beta carotene. Then again, some come armed to the teeth with even more antioxidants like flavonoids. These compounds give color, flavor, and taste to plants. Your best bet is to load your plate with these seven super sources.

  1. Cruciferous vegetables. This food group includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, and brussels sprouts. These natural substances appear to safeguard your DNA from cancer-causing mutations. They might even stop the growth of tumors. You’ll get the most cancer protection if you eat these veggies raw or only lightly cooked.
  2. Onions and garlic. Mince or crush them to release their full anti-cancer powers, and don’t overcook them. Follow these tips and you’ll benefit from their flavonoids and sulfur compounds, which get free radicals before they get you.
  3. Citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits — these flavorful fruits prevent more than eight different kinds of cancer in one fell swoop: cancers of the bladder, breast, cervix, colon and rectum, esophagus, lung, pancreas, and stomach.
  4. Berries. According to the USDA-ARS Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, these little morsels pack one of the biggest antioxidant punches. Natural chemicals like anthocyanin and ellagic acid deliver blows to cancer-causing pollutants. So eat strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and other fruits that are so “berry” good for you.
  5. Green leafies. Most vegetables with big floppy leaves and a dark green color — like romaine lettuce, collards, beet leaves, and spinach — contain carotenoids. Carotenoids are especially powerful against lung cancer.
  6. Tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant that sets tomatoes and other red fruits apart. This carotenoid appears to protect against cancers of the colon, stomach, lung, esophagus, prostate, and throat.
  7. Herbs and spices. Use these cancer-fighters instead of salt to zest up your meals. Basil, rosemary, turmeric, ginger, and parsley all contain flavonoids and other compounds that send your antioxidant levels through the roof. Fresh herbs are generally more potent cancer fighters than dried.

Selenium

This trace mineral is also an antioxidant, in that it protects your cells and tissues from oxidation. For nearly 30 years, scientists have believed low selenium levels lead to a greater risk of cancer. Selenium is different from other antioxidants, however, because a normal diet of mostly unprocessed foods easily provides the suggested 55 micrograms a day.

Now, Dr. Mark A. Nelson, a professor and researcher at the Arizona Cancer Center, says, “The Nutritional Prevention of Cancer (NPC) Trial tripled the intake and suggests that higher levels of selenium may be necessary for cancer prevention.” Until nutritionists conduct more research, though, no one can recommend the best, safest amount you should get. Experts warn selenium is a toxic mineral, which means too much of it, especially from supplements, is unsafe.

For now, Nelson’s advice: “Eat a well-balanced diet.” Foods especially high in selenium include mushrooms, seafood, chicken, and wheat.

 

Folate

Folate is an essential ingredient in making DNA. Without enough of this B vitamin, you could end up with broken chromosomes, one risk factor for cancer. No wonder, then, a folate deficiency appears to increase the risk for cancers of the cervix, lung, esophagus, brain, pancreas, breast, and especially the colon and rectum.

Munch on fresh, leafy green vegetables for a full-size serving of folate. Fortified cereals, beets, squash, and melon all provide a healthy amount, too. Eat these foods raw or lightly cooked since heat destroys the folate. Even microwaving will foil your folate intake.

 

Fiber

Dr. Denis Burkitt, author of Eat Right — To Stay Healthy and Enjoy Life More, first stated over 20 years ago that fiber might prevent colorectal cancer. “When diets are rich in dietary fiber,” Burkitt said, “the stools passed are usually large. I f carcinogens (the substances which produce cancer) are diluted in a large volume of stool and also i f they are discarded out of the bowel fairly quickly (as happens with fiber-rich diets) rather than hanging around, they will be less dangerous.”

Choose foods rich in insoluble fiber, the kind that won’t dissolve in water — brown rice, fruits, beans, vegetables, wheat bran, and whole grains. These are also rich in nutrients and phytochemicals, making them complete anticancer packages.

 

Omega-3

Your body needs two fatty acids that it can’t make on its own — linolenic or omega- 3 and linoleic or omega-6. They’re called essential nutrients and you must get them from foods. But you must get them in correct amounts. When one type of fatty acid drastically outnumbers the other, things can go haywire.

Most people get more than enough omega-6 fatty acids from a typical diet loaded with vegetable oils, and not enough omega-3s found in cold-water fish and other foods. Some experts believe this imbalance is linked to cancerous tumors. Too many omega-6 fatty acids may promote tumor growth, while getting more omega-3 fatty acids could prevent — even shrink — tumors.


Win the battle between the omega-3s and the omega-6s. Every week eat at least two servings of salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, or other omega-3-packed fish. Include flaxseed oil, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables in your diet to boost your good fat intake even more.

And just as important — cut back on eggs, milk, processed grains, and anything that contains corn or soy oils. That includes almost all fried, fast foods and margarine. These foods are all high in omega-6s.

Trim down on red meats, too. They’re high in fats — omega- 6s and saturated fats. According to the American Cancer Society, a high-fat diet increases your risk of colon, rectum, prostate, and endometrium (uterine lining) cancers.

 

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Source: Eat and Heal from FC & A Medical publishing

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