Cancer nutrition is a fact of science. Cancer cells thrive on certain foods and likewise, certain foods help to prevent cancer. Your body functions on the food you eat. Unhealthy eating habits are leading to an increase in cancer rates.
What is the Connection between Nutrition and Cancer?
Over processed foods doesn’t contain as many nutrients as the body needs to function properly. Processed foods are convenient, but they lack vitamins and are packed with chemicals. Without proper nutrients, cell function is compromised, leading to a host of problems down the road. Here are ways cancer and nutrition are linked:
Antioxidant Rich Foods
Oxidative stress happens naturally in the body. Environmental factors and the food you eat directly impact the level of oxidative stress in your body. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which helps cells function more efficiently. Reducing oxidative stress reduces your risk of cancer. Antioxidant rich foods include blueberries, peaches, spinach and cranberries.
Vitamins and Minerals
If you are not eating a balanced diet then you are missing key nutrients your body needs to function at its best. A poorly functioning body leads to disease, which includes cancer. Even with a carefully balanced diet, there are some vitamins and minerals you may not get enough of. Dietary supplements fill in the gaps your diet leaves behind. Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients that most people lack.
High Calorie Diets
If you are eating a high calorie diet, then it is likely you will end up overweight if you aren’t already. People who are overweight are more likely to develop cancer. Eating a lower calorie diet and maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Most people only eat about half the amount of fiber that they should, which is about 25 grams per day. Eating fiber improves the environment for good bacteria that our body needs to keep us healthy. Fiber also improves the condition of the colon, which can help prevent colon cancer. Source of fiber include nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Most people eat more animal protein than they need to. Animal protein is often high in fat and cholesterol. A diet high in fat it can lead to heart problems, but it also makes you much more susceptible to cancer. In addition, often meat is cooked at high temperatures, which increases the carcinogens on the meat.
Phytonutrients are found in the pigment of fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients are also found in soy protein. Plants develop phytonutrients because they cannot move away from danger in their environments, so they create their own defenses. By eating the plants, we receive the benefits of the protective phytonutrients.
Nutrition and cancer are linked because of the way our body and our cells operate. Cells are machines that need energy, and if we are not providing the right kind of energy, then our cells will not perform correctly. To help prevent cancer, you can start by improving your diet and paying closer attention to the nutrients you are or are not getting.