We previously posted about cancer proofing your sandwich with some healthy alternatives to mayonnaise (you can find the article here), but here are some other great food choices.
The foods you consume make a huge difference in fighting this horrible disease. Whether you have a history of cancer in your family, are currently battling the disease, or just want to take steps to help prevent it, there are some healthy choices you can make to increase the odds in your favor.
The truth about cancer and diet
The unfortunate truth is.. sometimes you can do everything right and still find yourself on the receiving end of bad conversation with your doctor. Sadly, not all health problems are avoidable but the good news is that you have more control over your health than you realize. Research shows that a vast majority of cancer related deaths have been strongly linked to lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking, unhealthy diets, and a lack of exercise. Most doctors will tell you that eating health foods is a step in the right direction, and knowing what foods fuel cancer and which protect you is critical. By making a few dietary changes, you can minimize your risk of cancer or possibly even stop it in it’s tracks.
Plant Based Foods
HelpGuild.org tells us:
“The best diet for preventing or fighting cancer is a predominantly plant-based diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. A plant-based diet means eating mostly foods that come from plants: vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and beans.”
Doctors recommend that you should fill at least two-thirds of your plate with whole grains, vegetables, beans, or fruits. This doesn’t mean that you have to go all vegan or vegetarian but by focusing on “whole foods” instead of processed foods, you can easily reduce your risks of cancer.
Buy Organic or Locally Grown
Another great recommendation is to buy organic or locally grown produce. Why? Many commercially grown produce contain pesticides and preservatives that are suspected carcinogens. Organic foods are certified to be free of pesticides and you are less likely to find preservatives on locally grown produce.
Plant-based foods help to increase your fiber intake, which in turn plays a key role in keeping your digestive system clean and healthy. A healthy digestive system helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract and it also helps to quickly get rid of cancer-causing compounds before they can harm you.
As a rule, fiber is mostly found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You will not find fiber in meats, dairy, sugar, or “white” foods like white bread, white rice, or pastries.
Reduce Meat Intake
Meats contain proteins which are important in your diet however vegetarians are shown in studies to have a 50% less likelihood to develop cancers than those who eat meat.
Boost your antioxidant intake and you will help your immune system fight off unwanted invaders such as cancer. Fruits and vegetables are your best source of antioxidants so focus on beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
It’s important to eat health foods but equally important is how you prepare them. All your hard work can go out the window if you prepare or store your food incorrectly. Here are some tips:
- Cook oils on low heat
- Do not burn or char meats (go easy on the BBQ)
- Select fresh meats
- Avoid foods that look or smell moldy
- Avoid microwaves
- Avoid non-stick surfaces such as Teflon
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the worst foods to grill are the following:
- Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, grilled, well done
- Steak, grilled, well done
- Pork, barbecued
- Salmon, grilled with skin
- Hamburger, grilled, well done