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Friday, July 20, 2012

Anti-Cancer Diets - Essential Things You Ought to Know

Smoking and a diet largely based on animal foods are the top two health risks for cancer, says a Harvard Report on Cancer Prevention. In fact, diet even plays a bigger role for acquiring cancer than a family history of it. As such, making the necessary changes in our diet greatly lowers our cancer risk.

For starters, a diet rich in total fat and saturated fats makes one prone to the Big C inasmuch as tumor cells need low density lipoproteins (LDL's) to grow. Moreover, eating produces bile needed to digest fat. Too much bile in the large intestine gets converted to apcholic acid which is a carcinogen. Where fats are concerned, you must limit your daily fat intake to no more than 20 percent of your total food calories.

The right kinds of fat to eat are unsaturated fats, found in plant foods, such as legumes and vegetable oils that are high in mono unsaturated fats. Another good source of good fats are seafood like salmon and tuna, since these are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Oils that contain more omega 3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, pumpkin seed, canola, soybean (not hydrogenated), walnut, safflower, sunflower, sesame, and virgin olive oils are also good fat choices that even have anti cancer properties.

Next, a diet that is rich in fiber also prevents cancer. By moving potential carcinogens through the intestines faster and binding them, fiber decreases the contact time between these cancer-causing agents and the intestinal wall, decreasing one's chances of getting the Big C. Fiber is also essential in the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Good sources of fiber are whole wheat, whole grains, legumes, whole grain bread, and prunes. Beans like kidney beans and garbanzos are also good sources of fiber.

It's common knowledge that fruits and vegetables greatly reduce one's cancer risk. They contain phytochemicals, Vitamin C and E that help the body fight this disease. While all veggies are cancer-fighters, those in the front line include broccoli, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, kales, and cauliflowers. Beta carotene found in carrots, pink grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and squash significantly lowers your cancer risk as well. Flaxseeds are also important since they contain omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries are high in flavenoids that protect against lung, cervical and other cancers.

Red meat greatly increases your cancer risk. Processed meats which are full of preservatives are even worse. Instead of steak, it's best to go for seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids and other cancer-fighting properties. More importantly, switching to a plant-based diet from your usual animal-based fare greatly reduces your risk of acquiring cancer. Not only do plants have more phytochemicals that fight against cancer, they also have more fiber and contain less fat. Thus, to meet your protein needs, soy and soy-based products are your best bets instead of your pork or beef. Soy also has is of lavones that inhibit tumor growth. Where drinks are concerned, green tea has catechins that help fight against cancer.