Nutrition and Cancer Prevention

Nutrition to prevent future cancer diagnoses

  • If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is very important for you to nourish your body, mind and spirit to be as healthy and strong as possible
    • This includes making food choices which are going to help your body stay well
  • For your family members who have not been diagnosed with cancer, but who may have an increased risk for developing cancer (depending on your family's medical history and family members' health habits), you will want them to know that there are many things they can do to decrease their risk of developing cancer
    • Work toward a normal weight for their height
    • Not smoke
    • Not drink too much alcohol
    • Be more physically active
  • But they also can choose to eat foods which are known to decrease our risk of getting cancer
    • This is not new information, but not very many people are aware of it
    • Several food groups help prevent cancer
    • Four of those groups:
      • Cabbage family
      • Citrus fruits
      • Garlic
      • Green tea

The Cabbage family

  • These include:
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cauliflower
    • Kale
    • Collard greens
  • There is medical evidence from around the world that eating these vegetables 5 or more times a week can help prevent a variety of cancers, such as
    • Breast
    • Bladder
    • Lung
    • Colorectal
    • Prostate
  • They work best if eaten raw or cooked in little or no water, in other words, steamed.

Garlic family

  • Garlic has been observed worldwide to be related to decreasing some cancers
  • Garlic helps by preventing known cancer-causing chemicals called ni-trites from being activated in our intestines
    • Nitrites are a preservative in meats, such as Spam and lunchmeats like bologna ("baloney") and salami
    • If we eat these meats, we should eat fresh garlic (or garlic's cousin, onions) at the same time

Citrus fruits

  • Citrus (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes) appear to act similar to garlic
  • They can prevent nitrite meat preservatives from turning into their cancer-causing form
  • Eat citrus fruits or drink their juices often, especially if you're eating preserved meats

Green tea

  • The cancer-preventing qualities of green tea aren't as solidly proven as for cabbage, garlic and citrus
  • There is much variation in the amount of healthful ingredients from one green tea product to another. However, steeping the tea for long periods, such as 10 minutes, increases the amount of cancer-preventing chemicals in the tea

Research is on-going to identify more possible cancer-preventing foods. Examples of foods being studied are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Soybean products
  • Omega 3 fats