Monday, September 14, 2009

Healthy Diet helps prevent Cancer

You may know how painful it is to die from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. That is true, but there is good news.

Scientists have known for quite a few years that diet can help you avoid disease. In fact, it has been shown that about 34% of all cancer is related to what you eat and drink. And it has also been shown that diet can reduce your chances of getting cancer.

Nutrients in some food can decrease your chance of cancer. You can also improve your chances of not getting cancer by avoiding some foods.

The Power of Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits (like Hackberry and Loquat and Dragonfruit (Hylocereus spp.; Cactaceae) and Okra) and vegetables are proven to help prevent many types of cancer including cancer of the mouth and colon. Currently, it is unknown if there are any specific nutrients in these foods that provide protection. There have been experiments on some of the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables like beta-carotene. However, isolating these substances from the original source have not been found to prevent cancer. In fact, some by themselves are found to be harmful. So remember - the whole fruit is many times better than some supplement taken from that food.

Current recommendations are to eat at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable with each meal. They can be fresh, canned or dried. But, they should not be fried like chips.

Whole Grains Keep You Moving

Whole grains like kamut brown rice, cracked wheat and corn on the cob are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. These are well known to help prevent colorectal cancer. Despite being vital, just using a fiber supplement is not as effective because you need the other nutrients in the whole grain.

Scientists think that the increased fiber helps to keep the stool in the bowel moving smoothly. This prevents constipation in the colon. That being said, there is no evidence that laxatives or any colon cleansing regimen is of any help. In fact they have often been shown to be harmful.

Foods to Avoid

Red meat is a proven contributor to cancer especially colorectal cancer and cancer of the prostate. The best advice is that you make sure to limit the amount you eat to less than three ounces a day. Cutting it out altogether is even better.

Any high fat food will have a similar effect. All of those french fries and corn chips that you have been eating? We know now that they may contribute to your chance of getting cancer.

You may not want to hear this, but alcohol is another culprit. The latest research shows that any alcohol can bump up your chance of getting cancer. But, it is especially a big risk when you have more than two drinks a day for men and one for women. Sorry ladies. Alcohol along with cigarettes contribute to cancer of the mouth, esophagus and larynx (your voice box).

The Four Rules of Diet

1. Most of your food should be directly from plants.

2. Limit your intake of high-fat foods, especially from animal sources.

3. Be physically active: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight, Ok. I cheated a bit on this one - but, you should limit your intake to the amount needed to keep your weight down.

4. No more than one or two drinks a day, if you drink at all.

Use these tips and you will avoid cancer related to your diet.


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