Whether you have a history of cancer in your family or you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, there are certain lifestyle choices, which includes your diet, that can make a huge difference in helping you prevent cancer.
“What you eat and what you don’t” has the potential to adversely affect your health. You may not be aware some foods can actually increase the risk of cancer, while others support your body and strengthen your immune system. Research shows that as many as one-third of all cancer deaths are linked to diet and physical activity. A case in point start making smart dietary choices and reduce your risk for cancer. Follow these healthy and effective anti-cancer diet approved by doctors and experts around the globe.
1) Focus on cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables
Diets high in fruit, like oranges, berries, peas, bell peppers, dark leafy greens and other foods high in vitamin C may lower the risk of stomach, lung and esophageal cancer while vegetables containing carotenoids such as carrots, brussels sprouts and squash, help reduce the risk of lung, mouth, pharynx, and larynx cancers. Diets high in non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and beans, is considered effective for stomach and esophageal cancer. Foods high in lycopene, such as tomatoes, guava, and watermelon, may lower the risk of prostate cancer. The less processed the better.
2) Include fiber in your diet
Stock up on fiber-rich foods. Fiber plays a key role in cleaning your digestive system. It helps keep food moving through your digestive tract and it also moves cancer-causing compounds out before they can create any trouble. A fiber-rich diet may help prevent colorectal cancer and other digestive system cancers, including stomach, mouth, and pharynx.
Found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, an ideal fiber-rich diet may include brown rice, whole-grain bread, popcorn, raisin bran, barley, oatmeal, pear, banana, apple, carrots, celery, bell peppers, raspberries, apples, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, mango, apricots, citrus fruits, dried fruit, prunes, raisins, legumes, lentils, black beans, split peas, lima beans, baked beans, kidney beans, pinto, chick peas, navy beans, black-eyed peas, broccoli, spinach, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, artichokes, corn, tomatoes, brussels sprouts.
Drink plenty of water. It is essential for fighting cancer. It stimulates the immune system, removes waste and toxins, and transports nutrients to all of your organs.
4) Limit alcohol
That includes wine too. Alcohol consumption has been linked to increased risk of mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver and breast cancers. Therefore it is best advised to keep a check on your alcohol intake. Men should limit to no more than two drinks a day while women should keep it at one drink per day, says Dr Archit Pandit, Consultant, Max Super Speciality Hospital.
5) Alternate options for drinks
Doctors would advice you to opt for tea, coffee & less fruit juice.
6) Cut down on meat
We know you love meat, but how will you relish it when you don’t even have a good health? That’s why experts suggests you eat less of the red meat and cut down on processed meat. Too much of red meat has the potential to increase your cancer risk. Choose fish, poultry, or beans instead of beef, pork or lamb. When you eat meat, choose lean cuts and eat smaller portions. Prepare meat by baking, broiling, or poaching at lower temperatures, rather than by frying in fat or broiling/grilling at excessively high temperatures. FYI, research shows that vegetarians are about 50 percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat.
7) Be careful of fats
Diet high in saturated fats have been linked to increased risk for many types of cancer. But cutting down on fat entirely is not the answer, either. Because there are some types of fat that actually help protect against cancer. Saturated fats and trans fat are the fats that are damaging. While saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Trans fats are found in liquid vegetable oils.
Choose olive and canola oil over the regular vegetable oil. Avoid anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
8) Limit fast food
Fried foods and packaged foods, which are high in trans fats needs a check. Limit foods like potato chips, cookies, crackers, french fries, and doughnuts to fight the cancer.
9) Prepare your food in healthy ways
Eating healthy food is not the end of the solution. But how you prepare your so called healthy food is eqally important too. The way you cook your food can either help or damage your anti-cancer efforts. When cooking vegetables, steam until just tender using a small amount of water. This preserves more of the vitamins. Overcooking vegetables removes many of the vitamins and minerals. If you do boil vegetables, use the cooking water in a soup or another dish to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins.
10) Use immune-boosting herbs and spices.
To add flavor not just to your food but to your health too, use garlic, ginger, and curry powder. They have the right amount of valuable nutrients to fight cancer.
11) Eat at least some raw fruits and vegetables.
They have the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals, although cooking some vegetables can make the vitamins more available for our body to use.