Cancer Fighting Diet

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States today. While the link between diet and cancer remains somewhat elusive, there are specific dietary factors tied to a reduction in cancer development. Foods that are high in fiber, nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich offer the most protection against cancer development. According to the American Cancer Society, foods that offer the most benefits include legumes, cruciferous and green leafy vegetables, whole fresh fruits (especially red and citrus fruits) and foods high in omega-3-fats. Broccoli Broccoli is an example of a cruciferous vegetable.

Others within the same family include cabbage, onions, garlic and cauliflower. They are rich in phytonutrients, or disease-fighting plant compounds that directly inhibit the growth of cancer cells and the development of tumors. 2. Salmon Fatty fish, such as salmon, is rich in vitamin D–which offers protection against the development of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer–and omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats act as anti-tumor agents because they help prevent cancer cells from sticking together, forming solid tumors. Oranges and Citrus Fruits Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Vitamin C protects the body’s cells against free radical damage, which can cause damage to DNA (mutations) that increases the risk of cancer development, especially of the digestive system and colon. Blueberries The nutrients found in blueberries may help reduce the risk of developing colon and ovarian cancer. Phenolic compounds (another phytochemical found in blue/purple vegetables and fruits) inhibit the rapid growth of cancer cells and work to destroy cancer cells in the colon. Spinach and Kale Dark, leafy, green vegetables such as spinach and kale are rich in a flavonoid phytonutrient called kaempferol.

Women who eat the most kaempferol-rich foods have a 40 percent lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than those that with the lowest intake of kaempferol-rich foods. Raspberries Raspberries are the richest food source of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a phytochemical that offers powerful anti-cancer benefits according to the American Cancer Society. It can inhibit cancerous tumor growth in the esophagus, lung and colon as well as the breast and prostate.

Pomegranate Juice Recent findings by the American Cancer Society also show that drinking 8 oz.of pomegranate juice daily significantly slows increase of blood levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, which is the marker used to test for prostate cancer as well as measuring the growth of prostate cancer.

Black Beans According to a study published in Food Chemistry and Toxicology, when researchers fed laboratory animals a 20 percent black bean diet, it significantly reduced the number of pre-cancerous cells, even in animals who were also given an agent that promotes cancer by mutating cellular DNA (cyclophosphamide). Green Tea Green tea is high health-promoting flavonoids, including catechins.

The most notable catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG offers anticancer and antioxidant benefits. Like vitamins E and C, catechins act as free radical scavengers and are particularly protective against breast and prostate cancers. Beets The pigment that gives beets their purple-deep red color is known as betacyanin. This phytochemical acts as a powerful cancer-fighting agent, particularly against the development of cancers of the skin, lung and colon. Compounds in beets increase the effectiveness of antioxidant liver enzymes which help protect our cells against free radical damage.

[pic]Sponsored Links Advanced Cancer Treatment Cancer Treatment Options as of March 2010 www. Issels. com Which Foods Burn Fat? The eating program preferred by bodybuilders and fitness models www. burnthefat. com Lose Weight w/ Green Tea Lose 2. 5 times more with Wu Long tea. Buy 3, get 1 free! 2xGreen. WuLongForLife. com Stem Cell Therapy Germany Lower fasting glucose levels Decrease hypoglycemic events www. XCell-Center. com/Diabetes/ References • “Dietary factors and cancer chemoprevention: an overview of obesity-related malignancies;” N. S. Murthy, S. Mukherjee, G.

Ray, et al; 2009 • “Food Chemistry and Toxicology;” Black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. ) as a protective agent against DNA damage in mice; L. Azevedo, J. C. Gomes, P. C. Stringheta, A. M. Gontijo, C. R. Padovani, L. R. Ribeiro and D. M. Salvadori; Dec 2003 • “Cancer Letters;” Chemoprevention of lung and skin cancer by Beta vulgaris (beet) root extract; G. J. Kapadia, H. Tokuda, T. Konoshima and H. Nishino; Feb 1996 The Anti-Cancer Diet Cancer Prevention Nutrition Tips and Cancer Fighting Foods [pic][pic] [pic] Are you interested in doing all you can to improve your health and fight off cancer?

Maybe you have a history of cancer in your family or a loved one who’s battling the disease. Maybe you’re dealing with cancer yourself or trying to prevent a recurrence. Whatever the situation, your dietary choices matter. Some foods actually increase your risk of cancer, while others support your body and strengthen your immune system. By making smart food choices, you can protect your health, feel better, and boost your ability fight off disease. In This Article: • What you need to know • Focus on plant-based foods • Bulk up on fiber • Cut down on meat • Choose your fats wisely.

• Choose cancer-fighting foods • Prepare your food in healthy ways • Related links [pic]Print  [pic]Authors [pic][pic][pic]Text Size What you need to know about cancer and diet Not all health problems are avoidable, but you have more control over your health than you may think. Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths—maybe even the majority—are directly linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet. Avoiding cigarettes, minimizing alcohol, and getting regular exercise are a great start to an anti-cancer lifestyle.

But to best support your health, you also need to look at your eating habits. What you eat—and don’t eat—has a powerful effect on your health, including your risk of cancer. Without knowing it, you may be eating many foods that fuel cancer, while neglecting the powerful foods and nutrients that can protect you. If you change your diet and behaviors, you can minimize your risk of disease and possibly even stop cancer in its tracks. Cancer prevention diet tip #1 – Focus on plant-based foods Why plant-based foods are cancer-fighting powerhouses It comes down to this: Plants have less fat, more fiber, and more cancer-fighting nutrients.

These three elements work together to support your immune system and help your body fight off cancer. 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. The less processed these foods are—the less they’ve been cooked, peeled, mixed with other ingredients, stripped of their nutrients, or otherwise altered from the way they cam out of the ground—the better.

There are many ways to add plant-based foods to your diet. A nice visual reminder is to aim for a plate of food that is filled at least two-thirds with whole grains, vegetables, beans, or fruit. Dairy products, fish, and meat should take up no more than a third of the plate. Keep in mind that you don’t need to go completely vegetarian. Instead, focus on adding “whole” foods, which are foods close to their original form. Just as important, try to minimize or reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Eat an apple instead of drinking a glass of apple juice, for example.

Or enjoy a bowl of oatmeal with raisins instead of an oatmeal raisin cookie. Simple tips for getting more plant-based foods in your diet • Breakfast: Add fruit and a few seeds or nuts to your whole grain breakfast cereal (oatmeal! ). • Lunch: Eat a big salad filled with your favorite beans and peas or other combo of veggies. Always order lettuce and tomato (plus any other veggies you can! ) on your sandwiches. Order whole grain bread for your sandwiches. Have a side of veggies like cut up carrots, sauerkraut or a piece of fruit. • Snacks: fresh fruit and vegetables.

Grab an apple or banana on your way out the door. Raw veggies such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, jicama, peppers, etc. are great with a low-fat dip such as hummus. Keep trail mix made with nuts, seeds and a little dried fruit on hand. • Dinner: Add fresh or frozen veggies to your favorite pasta sauce or rice dish. Top a baked potato with broccoli and yogurt, sauteed veggies, or with salsa. Replace creamy pasta sauces, with sauteed vegetables or tomato sauce made with healthy olive oil. • Dessert: Choose fruit instead of a richer dessert. Or a single square of dark chocolate.

Buy organic or local produce, if possible. Some pesticides found in commercially-grown produce are also suspected carcinogens. Organic foods are free of these pesticides, and locally grown produce is less likely to have been treated with chemicals to prevent spoilage. Cancer prevention diet tip #2 – Bulk up on fiber Another benefit of eating plant-based foods is that it will also increase your fiber intake. Fiber, also called roughage or bulk, is the part of plants (grains, fruits, and vegetables) that your body can’t digest. Fiber plays a key role in keeping your digestive system clean and healthy.

It helps keep food moving through your digestive tract, and it also moves cancer-causing compounds out before they can create harm. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, sugar, or “white” foods like white bread, white rice, and pastries. Simple ways to add more fiber to your diet: • Use brown rice instead of white rice • Substitute whole-grain bread for white bread • Choose a bran muffin over a croissant or pastry • Snack on popcorn instead of potato chips.

• Eat fresh fruit such as a pear, a banana, or an apple (with the skin) • Have a baked potato, including the skin, instead of mashed potatoes • Enjoy fresh carrots, celery, or bell peppers with a hummus or salsa, instead of chips and a sour cream dip • Use beans instead of ground meat in chili, casseroles, tacos, and even burgers (bean burgers taste great! ) |High-fiber, cancer-fighting foods | |Whole grains |whole-wheat pasta, raisin bran, barley, oatmeal, oat bran muffins, popcorn, brown rice, whole-grain | | |or whole-wheat bread.

Fruit |raspberries, apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, 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 | |Vegetables |broccoli, spinach, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, artichokes, corn, carrots, tomatoes, Brussels | | |sprouts, potatoes | Cancer prevention diet tip #3: Cut down on meat Research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. So what’s the link between meat and cancer risk?

First, meat lacks fiber and other nutrients that have been shown to have cancer-protective properties. What it does have in abundance, however, is fat—often very high levels of saturated fat. High-fat diets have been linked to higher rates of cancer. And saturated fat is particularly dangerous. Finally, depending on how it is prepared, meat can develop carcinogenic compounds. Making better meat and protein choices You don’t need to cut out meat completely and become a vegetarian. But most people consume far more meat than is healthy.

You can cut down your cancer risk substantially by reducing the amount of animal-based products you eat and by choosing healthier meats. • Keep meat to a minimum. Try to keep the total amount of meat in your diet to no more than fifteen percent of your total calories. Ten percent is even better. • Eat red meat only occasionally. Red meat is high in saturated fat, so eat it sparingly. • Reduce the portion size of meat in each meal. The portion should be able to fit in the palm of your hand. • Use meat as a flavoring or a side, not the entree.

You can use a little bit of meat to add flavor or texture to your food, rather than using it as the main element. • Add beans and other plant-based protein sources to your meals. • Choose leaner meats, such as fish, chicken, or turkey. If possible, buy organic. • Avoid processed meats such as hotdogs, sausage, deli meats, and salami. Cancer prevention diet tip #4: Choose your fats wisely A major benefit of cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is that you will automatically cut out a lot of unhealthy fat. Eating a diet high in fat increases your risk for many types of cancer.

But cutting out fat entirely isn’t the answer, either. In fact, some types of fat may actually protect against cancer. The trick is to choose your fats wisely and eat them in moderation. • Fats that increase cancer risk – The two most damaging fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Trans fats, also called partially hydrogenated oils, are created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and less likely to spoil—which is very good for food manufacturers, and very bad for you.

• Fats that decrease cancer risk – The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. Primary sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds. Tips for choosing cancer-fighting fats and avoiding the bad • Reduce your consumption of red meat, whole milk, butter, and eggs, as these are the primary source of saturated fats. • Cook with olive oil instead of regular vegetable oil.

Canola oil is another good choice, especially for baking. • Check the ingredient list on food labels and avoid anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which are usually found in stick margarines, shortenings, salad dressings, and other packaged foods. • Trim the fat off of meat when you do eat it, and avoid eating the skin of the chicken. • Choose nonfat dairy products and eggs that have been fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. • Add nuts and seeds to cereal, salads, soups, or other dishes. Good choices include walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, and sesame seeds.

• Use flaxseed oil in smoothies, salad dressings, or mixed in snacks such as applesauce. But do not cook with flaxseed oil, as it loses its protective properties when heated. • Limit fast food, fried foods, and packaged foods, which tend to be high in trans fats. This includes foods like potato chips, cookies, crackers, French fries, and doughnuts. • Eat fish once or twice a week. Good choices include wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, and black cod. But be conscious of mercury, a contaminant found in many types of fish. Making smart seafood choices

For a list of the best and worst seafood choices, see the Pocket Seafood Selector, from the Environmental Defense Food. Cancer prevention diet tip #5: Choose cancer-fighting foods Your immune system keeps you healthy by fighting off unwanted invaders in your system, including cancer cells. There are many things you can eat to maximize the strength of your immune system, as well as many cancer-fighting foods. But keep in mind that there is no single miracle food or ingredient that will protect you against cancer. Eating a colorful variety gives you the best protection. • Boost your antioxidants.

Antioxidants are powerful vitamins that protect against cancer and help the cells in your body function optimally. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. • Eat a wide range of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, a potent disease–fighting and immune–boosting nutrient. The greater the variety of colors that you include, the more you will benefit, since different colors are rich in different phytochemicals. • Flavor with immune-boosting spices and foods.

Garlic, ginger, and curry powder not only add flavor, but they add a cancer-fighting punch of valuable nutrients. Other good choices include turmeric, basil, rosemary, and coriander. Use them in soups, salads, casseroles, or any other dish. • Drink plenty of water. Water is essentially to all bodily processes. It stimulates the immune system, removes waste and toxins, and transports nutrients to all of your organs. Cancer prevention diet tip #6 – Prepare your food in healthy ways Choosing healthy food is not the only important factor. It also matters how you prepare and store your food.

The way you cook your food can either help or hurt your anti-cancer efforts. Preserving the cancer-fighting benefits of vegetables Here are a few tips that will help you get the most benefits from eating all those great cancer-fighting vegetables: • Eat at least some raw fruits and vegetables. These have the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals, although cooking some vegetables can make the vitamins more available for our body to use. • When cooking vegetables, steam until just tender using a small amount of water. This preserves more of the vitamins. Overcooking vegetables leaches the vitamins and minerals out.

For an extra vitamin boost, use the vegetable cooking water in a soup or another dish. • Wash or peel all fruits and vegetables. Use a vegetable brush for washing. Washing does not eliminate all pesticide residue, but will reduce it. Cooking and carcinogens Carcinogens are cancer-causing substances found in food. Carcinogens can form during the cooking or preserving process—mostly in relation to meat—and as foods start to spoil. Examples of foods that have carcinogens are cured, dried, and preserved meats (e. g. bacon, sausage, beef jerkey); burned or charred meets; smoked foods; and foods that have become moldy.

Here are some ways reduce your exposure to carcinogens: The 5 Worst Foods to Grill o Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, grilled, well done o Steak, grilled, well done o Pork, barbecued o Salmon, grilled with skin o Hamburger, grilled, well done Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Do not cook oils on high heat. Low-heat cooking or baking (less than 240 degrees) prevents oils or fats from turning carcinogenic. Instead of deep-frying, pan-frying, and sauteing, opt for healthier methods such as baking, boiling, steaming, or broiling. • Go easy on the barbecue.

Burning or charring meats creates carcinogenic substances. If you do choose to barbecue, don’t overcook the meat and be sure to cook at the proper temperature (not too hot! ). • Store oils in a cool dark place in airtight containers, as they quickly become rancid when exposed to heat, light, and air. • Choose fresh meats instead of cured, dried, preserved, or smoked meats. • Avoid foods that look or smell moldy, as they likely contain aflatoxin, a strong carcinogen. Aflatoxin is most commonly found on moldy peanuts. Nuts will stay fresh longer if kept in the refrigerator or freezer.

• Be careful what you put in the microwave. Use waxed paper rather than plastic wrap to cover your food in the microwave. And always use microwave-safe containers. Related articles [pic]Organic Foods Understanding Organic Food Labels, Benefits, and Claims [pic]Healthy Recipes Making Fast, Healthy, and Delicious Meals More Helpguide Articles: • Healthy Eating: Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet and Sticking to It • Healthy Fast Food: Tips for Making Healthier Fast Food Choices • Dietary Supplements: The Smart and Safe Use of Vitamins and Supplements Related links for cancer prevention and the anti-cancer diet.

The Cancer Prevention Diet Cancer Prevention – This article talks about the relationship between human behaviors such as diet and cancer. (National Cancer Institute) The Anti-cancer Diet – This article gives very detailed information on 12 dietary recommendations that lower your cancer risk. (Ask Dr. Sears) Cancer Prevention: Ask the Expert: Nutrition – Brief answers to some common questions about the relationship between diet and cancer. (Michigan State University) Foods for Cancer Prevention – A brief summary of what cancer is, plus what dietary choices help to reduce your risk of cancer.

(PCRM) Foods that Fight Cancer – Information on specific foods and their role in protecting your health. (AICR) Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber – A summary about why eating fiber is important, as well as the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber, plus examples of fiber rich foods. (HealthCastle. com) Cancer Facts: Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk – Information on the relationship between eating meat and how that affects your risk for cancer. (The Cancer Project) Cooking to Prevent Cancer Cut Calories & Fat, Not Flavor – Recommendations for how to reduce your fat intake when cooking while still maintaining flavor.

(American Cancer Society) Going Low-Fat: Low-Fat Cooking Methods – This article is filled with tips on how to cook tasty low-fat meals. (NutritionMD) Cancer Prevention and Immune System Strengthening Immune Function: Choose Immune-Boosting Foods – This article has information on immune boosting foods and includes recipes as well as information on specific nutrients. (NutritionMD) Maya W. Paul and Melinda Smith, M. A. contributed to this article. Last reviewed: December 2009. Cancer-Fighting Foods Your Best Defense for Staying Healthy By Kristi Patrice Carter.

Ever since you were a small child, you were told to eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and dairy products. You probably saw the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid plastered on the wall of your doctor’s office and were familiar with its recommendations to eat 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta; 3 to 5 servings of vegetables; 2 to 4 servings of fruit; 2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and 2 to 3 servings of dairy products on a daily basis. But can you honestly say that you follow these guidelines?

Do you eat a balanced diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol? Do you eat enough fruits, vegetables and fiber? If you don’t, you could be putting yourself at risk for developing certain types of cancer. Protecting Yourself According to the American Cancer Society, “As many as 500,000 Americans die from cancer each year. After cardiovascular disease, it is the second leading cause of death in the United States. ” Although the specific causes of most cancers are not known, the U. S. government’s National Cancer Institute estimates that “35 percent of cancer deaths are related to poor eating habits.

” That’s right, by simply modifying one’s diet, 35 percent of these deaths may have been prevented. What can you do to protect yourself from this deadly disease? According to Barbara Rhodes, a licensed registered nurse in Illinois, “Although no single food can prevent cancer, you can reduce your risk of developing this disease by eating a low-fat, balanced diet, avoiding excess fat and increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber. By doing this, you strengthen your immune system and your body ultimately becomes a cancer-fighting powerhouse. ” The Lowdown on Low-fat.

Why is it important to eat a low-fat diet and avoid excess fat? “Although fat is an essential nutrient which provides our bodies with energy and cushions our vital organs, too much fat is not good,” Rhodes says. “If we have a diet laden with too much fat, abnormal cell divisions may occur, which could increase our risk of colon, breast and prostate cancer. Therefore, meat-based diets are potentially very dangerous and must be limited. ” “A healthy diet is one low in fat,” says Michelle Williams, a food preparation and dietary consultant for Cook County Hospital.

“You can easily lower your fat intake by eating less red meat (beef, pork or lamb); buying skim milk, low-fat dairy products such as yogurt and sour cream; purchasing lean cuts of meat and trimming excess fat before cooking; supplementing rich sauces with natural seasonings, spices and herbs; using egg whites instead of whole eggs; skimming excess fat off chilled soups and stews before eating; using low-fat margarine, salad dressing and mayonnaise; and using vegetable oil in place of melted butter. ” Cancer-preventing Foods Another important element in a healthy diet is eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber.

“Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, low in fat and contain protective vitamins and minerals. They are a rich source with natural antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and beta carotene, and may help block cell damage caused by free radicals. They also contain vitamin B (folic acid) which may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into malignant cells and strengthens your immune system. Fruits and vegetables also contain phytochemicals (naturally occurring plant chemicals) which appear to prevent some cancers and inhibit spread of malignant cells,” Rhodes says.

“And fiber is important because it increases the movement of digested food through your intestines and ultimately reduces the amount of time your colon is exposed to cancer-promoting substances formed during digestion. ” Which cancer-preventing foods should always be included in your grocery list? • Fruits like apples, peaches, pears, apricots, berries, oranges and apricots • Vegetables from the cabbage family • Deep yellow and dark green vegetables like squash, turnips and their greens, Brussels sprouts and broccoli • High-fiber foods like legumes (peas, beans and lentils) and whole-grain breads, rolls, pastas and cereals.

• Reduced-calorie or low-fat salad dressings and margarines • Low-fat dairy products like skim milk, skim-milk-based cheese and yogurt • Lean cuts of beef, lamb and pork • Fresh fish, shellfish, chicken or turkey • Limited amounts of artificial products, synthetic chemicals and saturated fats By eating a low-fat balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoiding excess fat and getting enough fiber, you can reduce your chances of getting cancer. Not only will you become healthier, but your immune system will be enhanced and you will become a “cancer-fighting powerhouse. “

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