One of the leading causes of death in the world is lung cancer. And yes, smoking is mostly responsible. There is convincing evidence that diets high in vegetables and fruits are protective against lung cancer and that compounds called carotenoids are probably responsible for some of this effect. Many vegetables and fruits contain vitamins A and C and beta carotene, such as dark green leafy vegetables, red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits. Although, if you are a smoker and continue to smoke, all of the carotenoids or the use of antioxidant supplements in the world may not help you from either preventing or from the treatment of lung cancer. First and foremost, quit smoking!
A very common cause of death in men is prostate cancer, especially in Australia. Vegetables may decrease the risk; while a high fat diet that comprises mostly animal fat sources (such as dairy products, fatty meats) may increase the risk. Lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, plays a leading role in the prevention of prostate cancer especially tomatoes that have been dehydrated. Dehydrated tomato compounds have been studied for preventing prostate cancer by scientists at the University of Missouri. These scientists have found that consuming tomatoes in powered form might be the best way to maximize protection against prostate cancer.
The fourth most common cancer in the world is bowel cancer, or colorectal cancer. Up to 70 percent of cases can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity and a diet high in vegetables and fiber are protective. Fiber moves cancer-causing compounds out of the body before they can create harm. It is also thought to dilute potential carcinogens, and may affect hormone production, thus lowering the incidence of hormone-related cancers like breast and prostate cancers. The National Cancer Institute recommends 20-30 grams of fiber per day. Great sources of fiber come not only in whole grains but in fruits, legumes and cruciferous vegetables. Some whole grains to look for are barley, oats, oat bran, and nuts. Apples, bananas, blackberries, citrus fruits, pears, and prunes are fibrous fruits. Legumes like lima, kidney, pinto, and navy beans, peas, chick peas, black-eyed peas, and especially lentils these are all high in fiber. Beans contain several chemicals that boost immunity to cancer. Those chemicals show the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in different tissues and slow the growth of tumors. Include cruciferous vegetables Brussels sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy and broccoli on a daily basis. Substances in these vegetables have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells in laboratory studies, particularly by regulating a complex system of enzymes that provide a good line of cancer defense. Some studies have correlated colorectal cancer with consumption of red meat, especially high-fat meats. Cut down your portion sizes to 3–5 ounces a day or less is beneficial in reducing that risk. A simple way is to base the amount of meat according to these proportions. Aim for 2/3 (or more) fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, and 1/3 (or less) animal protein on your plate. Instead of red meat, choose white meat such as chicken or turkey.
Many studies now show that the combination of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking has a synergistic effect; together they are more likely to cause cancer than either of them separately.
Studies indicate that if you have a healthy lifestyle your chances of not getting cancer are increased to 70%. Increasing your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduce unhealthy dietary fats. It is recommended that you limit fat to 30 percent or less of your caloric intake. However, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, studies have shown that what is most important is not the amount of fat in the diet, per se, but the type of fat. Thus, the latest advice is to cut out the unhealthy fats – saturated fats and trans-fats. If we stop using chemicals, if we stop eating junk food and chemically laden foods and start consuming the foods that nature has provided, we would all be much healthier.
Making healthy choices can be your first line of defense against cancer besides from early detection is what can make the difference of determining if cancer treatment is more likely to be successful. Regular screening and self-examination may not prevent cancer, but it can increase your chances of discovering cancer early and that could save your life. Screening should include your skin, mouth, colon and rectum. If you're a man, it should also include your prostate and testes. If you're a woman, include cervix and breast cancer screening. Know your body well, be in tune with it. If you notice any changes, see your doctor. If you are not happy with the opinion of that doctor there is nothing wrong with getting a second or even third opinion. Do your research, be informed of every option available to you and have peace of mind that you did everything you could; that you did your homework. Love and take good care of your body, when you do your body will give back to you ten-fold.
Just think of the opportunities we can give our children and our grandchildren by just changing how we think about the choices we make. By eating a well-balanced diet, maintaining other healthy habits like exercising and eliminating tobacco and reducing your consumption of alcohol you can reduce your risk of cancer. Make a habit of reading package labels, it’s vital. Stop eating on the run and grabbing the first food you see. Think first before you put those Doritos into mouth!