Saturday, 5 January 2013

Protecting Against Cancer

When people are asked what health condition they fear the most, cancer is the number one answer. This is a justifiable fear as cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease. Although many people believe that cancer is an uncontrollable health condition, evidence suggests otherwise, and some of the superfoods may help to prevent cancer and improve the well-being of cancer patients. We’ve seen success story after success story where people defied their prognoses and beat cancer, and we think that eating healthy foods had a lot to do with it. 

The role of nutrition in the prevention of cancer has been studied for many years. The largest cancer research organization in the United Kingdom, World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), supports the notion that between 35 and 70 percent of cancer is related to eating an unhealthy diet. A healthy diet rich in superfoods, on the other hand, may decrease your risk of many cancers. Many superfoods have cancer-fighting properties. In general, you should seek those foods with the highest amounts of phytochemicals, fiber, and antioxidants.

For example:

✓ Lycopene, a phytochemical found in tomatoes, is being studied for its reduction of risk for prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in lycopene may lower the risk of other cancers as well; however, more research is needed. 

✓ Berries, contain phytochemicals that have been shown to help fight the development of cancer. These phytochemicals trigger antioxidant reactions that neutralize damage done to your cells. Red wine contains two polyphenols called catechins and resveratrol, both of which provide cancer protection by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. 

✓ Broccoli: contains a chemical that has been found to slow down the progression of cancer cells, especially hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer.

✓ A lot of money has been spent on research to explore the cancer-fighting properties of garlic and garlic extracts. Several studies already support the theory that garlic can reduce the risk of cancer, and more studies are underway to explore exactly how garlic functions in cancer protection.

✓ Several beans (legumes) are great sources of fiber, which has been proven to help reduce inflammation in the colon and has been associated with a reduction of colon cancer. See Chapter 8 for more info on legumes.

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