By:Â Dylan Rodgers
Can certain foods cause cancer?Â It seems that every time I watch the news some new thing like Styrofoam in the microwave or too much Equal causes cancer.Â The further we delve into cancer research, the more we realize the links between our depreciating condition and the foods we eat.Â In the same respect, we also have found certain foods that not only help reduce the chance of getting cancer, some literally reduce the size of tumors in cancer treatment.
In light of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to understand how our diet can play a major role in the fight against cancer.
According to breastcancer.org, 30 to 40 percent of all cancer is caused by an unhealthy diet.Â No specific foods can be targeted as the culprits, but over the years of study, they have found that breast cancer is much less abundant in countries where people have a plant-based diet.Â In fact getting a variety of fresh fruits and vegetable in your diet gives your body the best chance of staying healthy.Â One thing we do know:Â calories play a role in cancer risk.Â Excess fat makes estrogen, which in turn causes breast cell growth.Â This means that excess estrogen due to an unhealthy diet can dramatically raise your chances of getting breast cancer.
Having a nutrient rich diet of vegetables and fruits makes a huge difference in the fight against cancer.Â The following is just a few reasons why a plant-based diet is so important.
- Avocados have strong antioxidants that rid your body of free radicals, cancer causing oxygen molecules.
- Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have indole-3-carbinol, a chemical component that converts estrogen (a known cause of breast cancer) into a safer version.
- Carrots, avocados, sweet potatoes, and sea weeds have beta carotene which could help reduce a wide range of cancer.
- Garlic boosts the cancer-fighting immune system.
- Some mushrooms contain lectin, a protein that attacks cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying.Â Japanese scientists have successfully tested mushroom extracts as adjuncts to chemotherapy.
- Oranges and Lemons have limonene, a compound that stimulates cancer-killing immune cells called lymphocytes.
- Black raspberries have been tested on rat diets and reduced their number of tumors by 43 to 62 percent.
- Red wine, even nonalcoholic, has potent antioxidants called polyphenols.
- Rosemary increases detoxification and can be used to inhibit both breast and skin tumors.
- Green and black tea have antioxidants and can help protect against cancer.
- Tomatoes, especially when eaten during hot weather due to their increased lycopene production, contain high amounts of the antioxidants vitamin C and lycopene.
For a more complete list of cancer fighting, health boosting foods, click here.
Photo: Sugar Daze
How are you getting involved for Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
For more diet tips, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)