Diet and Cancer

What to eat and what not to………..

World Cancer Day 2013

Each year on 4th February, WHO supports  a united  effort  to ease the global  cancer  burden by promoting ways to spread awareness on early detection, treatment, risk reduction and prevention of  cancer.  The theme of World Cancer Day 2013 was "Cancer - Did you know?" focusing on the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel Damaging Myths And Misconceptions About Cancer.
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 cancer and other disease. According to the American Institute for Cancer , "no single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. But scientists believe that the combination of foods in a predominantly plant-based diet may.  The field of investigation of the role of nutrition in the cancer process is very broad. It is becoming clearer as research continues that nutrition plays a major role in cancer. 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.

Focus on plant based foods
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 came out of the ground—the better.

Bulk up on fiber
Fiber present in plant-based foods 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.

Reduce meat Intake
Research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. That is so because meat lacks fiber and other nutrients that have been shown to have cancer-protective properties.

Select your fats
The trick is to choose your fats wisely and eat them in moderation. The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health.

Choose cancer-fighting foods
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.
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.

Prepare your food in healthy ways

The way you cook your food can either help or hurt your anti-cancer efforts.
Some suggestions:-
a. Avoid overcooking. Wash all fruits and vegetables. Choose organic produce.
b.  Avoid  cured, dried, preserved and smoked food products (e.g. Kashmiri Hoggad and Pharei). Choose fresh meats instead of cured, dried, preserved, or smoked meats.
c. Low-heat cooking or baking prevents oils or fats from turning carcinogenic.
d. Store oils in a cool dark place in airtight containers, as they quickly become rancid when exposed to heat, light, and air.
e. Avoid foods that look or smell moldy, as they likely contain aflatoxin, a strong carcinogen.
Now, if  all of these factors reviewed here were taken into account and put into practice. This anticancer diet would result in reductions of 60 percent in breast cancer rates as have already been seen in human diet studies, and a 71 percent reduction in colon cancer for men without the known modifiable risk factors. Certainly cancer prevention would be possible, and cancer reversal in some cases is quite likely. Therefore following a proper balanced diet plan can helps in maintenance of a healthy body and also would help in reducing the incidences of cancer worldwide.
The above information is compiled by Miskeen Abid Yousuf, a Researcher in Cancer Biology. You can rach him at

Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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