A vegetarian diet has been shown to help prevent cancer due to its richness in phytochemicals, many of which are antioxidants that are shown to protect and repair DNA. Studies have shown that death rates from cancer in a vegetarian are 25% to 50% lower than the general population.
Breast cancer rates in countries that have plant-based diets are dramatically lower than those with meat-based diets. When these same women on plant-based diets have been introduced to a Western-style meat-based diet, their rates of breast cancer increase drastically. Colon cancer is the most closely linked to people that eat meat (than any other dietary factor).
Why Vegetarian Diets Help in Protecting You from Cancer
One main reason a vegetarian diet helps protect you from cancer is that it is lower in fat and higher in fiber than most meat-based diets, a winning combination in preventing cancer.
Additionally, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can affect how cancer cells grow and spread, while the vitamins and minerals in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans all help produce and repair DNA and control cell growth. Diets rich in foods containing vitamin A, vitamin C and beta carotene can also reduce the risk of certain cancers. These vitamins will all be found in any fruit and vegetables-heavy diets.