The everyday food choices you make play a huge role in cancer development — more so than you think
01/24/2019 // Cassie B. // Views

One of the scariest aspects of cancer is that it can strike anyone. Most of us know at least one person who is quite healthy and fit yet received a devastating cancer diagnosis, and it can make you feel like you have no control over the situation. While it’s true that there isn’t anything you can do to bring your risk down to zero, the food choices that you make every day can have a surprisingly big impact on your chances of developing cancer.

Consider the example of colorectal cancer, a type of cancer that was expected to cause around 50,000 deaths in the U.S. alone in 2018. Although there is a genetic component to the disease, this common cancer is actually one of the most preventable varieties if you make the right food choices.

If you eat the proper foods, you will turn your body into an environment where cancer is unable to survive. Your body will have the capability of identifying cancer cells so it can destroy them before they cause damage.

In the case of colorectal cancer, it’s particularly important to eat well. After all, everything you eat passes through your large intestine. This means that food that contains toxins and carcinogens will directly damage your large intestine’s cells, raising your risk of colorectal cancer.

Therefore, you need to avoid foods that contain preservatives. Processed meats should be the first thing you eliminate from your diet if you haven’t done so already – including foods like hot dogs, beef jerky, and sausages – but packaged food in general should be avoided as well. You should also stop eating foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.


Eat the right foods to prevent cancer

What you do eat can be just as important as what you don’t eat. Certain foods can help you to avoid developing colorectal cancer, and chief among them are cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. If dramatically increasing your intake isn’t feasible, you could try cruciferous vegetable extract.

Another food you should eat more of is garlic. Diets high in garlic have been linked to a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer; eating it raw or chopping it and leaving it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking is ideal. CBC News reports that eating garlic just two times per week can reduce your chances of getting lung cancer by nearly half; it is even effective on smokers.

Fish oil, meanwhile, is a great way to prevent cancer in general thanks to its ability to reduce your body’s overall inflammation. Studies have shown that those who live in countries where the diet generally involves consuming greater amounts of omega-3 fatty acids via fish have a lower prevalence of colon and prostate cancer than those in countries where omega-3 fatty acids aren’t consumed as frequently.

Omega-3 fatty acid consumption has been correlated to slower tumor growth. It is also believed to promote the death of cancer cells while reducing the enzymes these cells need to grow.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, blueberries are among the best foods you can eat to fight cancer thanks to their anthocyanin content. Research has shown that these antioxidants can reduce the free radical damage that leads to cancer, and they can cause breast, colon, prostate and mouth cancer cells to self-destruct.

Avoiding carcinogenic foods and increasing your intake of foods known to help prevent cancer is an easy way to take some control over your health and stack the odds in your favor.

Sources for this article include:

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