The prevalence of cancer has tremendously risen in modern society. Across the world, over twenty million people are affected by a diagnosed cancer. The number might even go up because several millions of people also die of cancer but go undiagnosed especially in the third world countries. Studies have shown that a majority of the cancers are lifestyle diseases and appropriate lifestyle modification can significantly reduce their numbers. Actually, it is mostly what we eat that predisposes us to the disease. If everyone adopted a right and the required food regimen, at least the cancer prevalence can go down.
What is cancer?
Cancer refers to abnormal and unregulated growth of cancer cells in the body. The most common cancers are the breast, the lung, and the prostate cancers. Some causes of cancer include infections, genetical predisposition, diet and lifestyle in general, environmental pollution among others. Smoking and drinking alcohol have also been implicated in predisposing individuals to cancer. Taking appropriate foods will help in preventing cancer. The food may also boost the body immunity helping the body fight cancer. Some foods contain antioxidants thus helping in fighting the body infections that may cause cancer cells to grow.
Allium based foods.
Consuming food rich in garlic, leeks, onions, chives, and scallions helps in fighting cancer cells. These foods contain a compound called allium which has antitumor and antimicrobial effects on the body. They, therefore, help on preventing H. Pylori which is the most commonly implicated bacteria in stomach cancers. Consuming garlic alone helps in reducing the risk of getting colon, breast, esophageal and pancreatic cancers.
Glucosinolates based foods
Taking cruciferous vegetables such as cabbages, cauliflower, kales, and broccoli have also been shown to help in fighting cancer. These vegetables contain a compound known as glucosinolates which activate intestinal enzymes like sulforaphane which helps in fighting and detoxifying environmental pollution hence preventing infections like Pylori. These cruciferous vegetables are known to prevent most cancers especially those affecting gut like the intestinal cancers and stomach cancer. Lutein, also found in carotene, is important for vision and fighting cancers.
Fruits and lycopene based foods
An increase in a diet rich in fruits is also quite important in the fight and prevention of cancers. Fruits such as guavas, watermelon, carrots, avocados, tomatoes, papaya, grapes and apples, and pears are some fruits that boost body immunity and help in fighting against cancer. Tomatoes specifically have a compound called lycopene. Lycopene is known to help reduce the risk of getting cancer. Laboratory studies have shown that lycopene helps in reducing the risk of getting endometric cancers and breast cancers. Beta-carotene found in carrots is crucial in fighting skin cancers and because of their antioxidant properties.
Studies have also shown that taking food rich in fibers and roughages help reduce cancer risks. Fiber is an important nutrient and helps in increasing the motility of the food along the gut thereby helping in preventing constipation. Fiber and roughages have been shown to reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer. Classical examples of fibers include whole grains, cereals among others.
Vitamins and minerals
Taking minerals and vitamins have been shown to improve the treatment outcome of cancers. Studies have shown that vitamins and minerals are an important component of nutrition which helps boost the body immunity. This helps the body in fighting and eliminating cancer cells.
In general, eating appropriate meals is very important in managing lifestyle diseases such as cancer. Reducing and limiting red meat and other animal product has been shown to improve the general health of individuals. Increasing the intake of vegetables and fruits increases the body’s ability to fight infections and also help in body repair of the worn-out tissues. Increasing their intake will therefore help in reducing cancer.