Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Breast Cancer Quiz
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
 
 
 
 
F
ood Choices for Cancer Prevention and Survival
 

How Foods Fight Cancer

© TheCancer Project

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Food Choices for Cancer Prevention and Survival by TheCancer Project . View all columns in series
Did your mother ever tell you to eat your vegetables? Well, she was right! Healthy vegetarian foods are a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer.

Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that protect the body. Building a plant-based (or vegan) diet from fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains can help prevent some cancers and improve the survival rates of people who have cancer.

Eighty percent of cancers are due to factors that have been identified and can potentially be controlled, according to the National Cancer Institute, and at least one-third of annual cancer deaths in the United States are due to dietary factors, according to the American Cancer Society. Much of our risk for colon, breast, and prostate cancer, among other types, is nutrition-related.

While vegan diets can help fight cancer and other diseases, consuming animal products—meat, eggs, dairy products—and other fatty foods can contribute to cancer risk.

Numerous research studies have since shown that cancer is much more common in populations consuming diets rich in fatty foods, particularly meat, and much less common in countries with diets rich in grains, vegetables, and fruits. The reason? Food affects the action of hormones in the body and the strength of the immune system.

Plant-based diets can be helpful in preventing cancer and cancer recurrence because they are generally low in fat and high in fiber. Fat has many effects within the body. It increases hormone production (and may raise breast cancer risks) and it stimulates the production of bile acids which have been linked to colon cancer.

The average diet in the United States is about 37 percent fat from calories. The National Cancer Institute suggests that people lower that number to 30 percent; however, studies have shown that fat intake should be well below 30 percent to have an anti-cancer affect. Ten percent or less is the most effective.

Fiber is essential for preventing disease and staying healthy. Animal products contain no fiber, but diets based on fiber-rich, plant-based foods provide plenty of this important nutrient. Fiber helps move food more quickly through the intestines, helping to eliminate carcinogens and potentially harmful hormones.

In the United States, the average daily fiber intake is 10 to 20 grams per day. Experts recommend 30 to 40 grams per day for cancer prevention and survival. The best sources of fiber are whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, vegetables, and fruits. Foods that are closest to their natural state, unrefined and unpeeled, are highest in fiber.

The United States and other Western nations whose diets are based upon animal products have the highest rates of colon cancer.

Eating a variety of vegetables is important because vegetables contain so many cancer-fighting substances. Carotenoids, the pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their dark colors, have been shown to help prevent cancer. Beta-carotene, present in dark green and yellow vegetables, helps protect against lung cancer and may help prevent cancers of the bladder, mouth, larynx, esophagus, breast, and other sites.

Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnips, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain flavones and indoles, which are thought to have anti-cancer effects. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and many vegetables, may lower risks for cancers of the esophagus and stomach.

Studies of vegetarians show that death rates from cancer are only about one-half to three-quarters of those of the general population. Breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in countries such as China and Japan, where diets are typically based on rice, vegetables, and bean products, with very little use of meat, dairy products, or oily foods. When people from those countries adopt a Western, meat-based diet, their breast cancer rates soar.

By Jennifer K. Reilly, R.D.
The Cancer Project


Need help getting started? Visit www.CancerProject.org for delicious vegetarian recipes, information on nutrition and cooking classes, fact sheets on nutrition and cancer, DVDs, videos, books, and a free copy of The Cancer Project’s booklet Healthy Eating for Life: Food Choices for Cancer Prevention and Survival.
Add your comment      
About The Author
The Cancer Project promotes cancer prevention and survival through a better understanding of cancer causes, particularly the link between nutrition and cancer. Through research, education, and advocacy, we are saving lives....more
 
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Our Sponsor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Wellness, Breathing, dimension!

Search   
Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.