An anticancer diet is a diet that includes foods which are meant to help you fight cancer if you are already suffering from the disease or help you reduce the risks of developing the disease. In an anticancer diet it may be necessary to avoid certain foods or at least limit some of them in order to protect your health. Although cancer is an unavoidable disease, it is possible to gain more control over it and that is through a change in lifestyle, exercise and changing to a healthy diet.
How the Anticancer Diet Works
Some of the foods in an anticancer diet contain polyphenol phytochemicals. These phytochemicals inhibit tumor growth thus reducing the risks of cancer. Beta-carotene and lycopene which are found in many vegetables have been proven to slowdown tumor growth. Some vegetables contain flavonoids and catechins, which both have very powerful antioxidant properties. These nutrients can protect cells from mutations and block the progression of the cell cycle which lowers the risks of getting cancer.
What Experts Say about the Anticancer Diet
Studies by health professionals have revealed that 35% of cancer deaths may be related to dietary factors. About 80 to 90% of all cancer cases are caused by environmental factors, of which 30 to 40% of them are directly linked to the diet. Health experts say the food people eat has a powerful effect on their health, including their risk of cancer. Many people unknowingly eat foods that may be fueling cancer. Changes in diet and behavior can reduce the risk of disease and possibly stop cancer.
Pros And Cons to the Anticancer Diet
Anticancer diets are great because they help you gain control of your health and reduce incidences of cancer. While following an anticancer diet, it is also possible to eliminate other foods which have other benefits. It is therefore essential that you plan your diet with the advice of a nutritionist so you avoid risks of malnutrition.
Sample Anticancer Diet Meal Plan
The following is not the only example of an anticancer diet, but it is an example of a diet that may help one fight cancer.
- Breakfast– cereal such as corn flakes or oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Fruits such as banana and sultanas can be added to a breakfast cereal.
- Lunch– salads with beans and peas. Other vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes can be included to increase the amount of antioxidants in the diet. For your sandwiches try to use whole grain bread. Take other vegetables like carrots on the side. A single fruit such as an apple, banana or orange can be taken after the meal.
- Dinner– pasta or rice with fresh or frozen vegetables. Baked potato with the skin not removed. Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and beetroot can be taken as part of a salad. Use olive oil for salads.
- Between Meals– dark chocolate, fruits such as black berries, banana, apple and strawberries. Cucumber, carrots and dried fruits and nuts are also recommended.
The idea is to have a diet that has many plant products as possible. Animal products are a good source of many valuable nutrients but they have to be limited. For instance, red meat has undesirable saturated fats which are not great for an anticancer diet. White meat is a good substitute as a protein source. Fish such as sardine have omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the body. An anticancer diet also has to have enough dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps clear the bowels and maintain good health.