Cancer : How to avoid it nutritionally

Cancer : How to avoid it nutritionally

Cancer is a household word in todays world. The disease has impacted millions of people across the world and its nearly impossible to find house or family not impacted by it. Practically akin to the story of Buddha seeking a house where grief hadn’t touched them.

What is Cancer? To put it simply and succinctly,  it is a state when cells starts growing dangerously rapidly and starts crowding other parts of the body. It’s the name for more than 200 diseases where cells simply begin to grow out of control.

Cancer develops mostly when the normal bodily mechanisms stop functioning. It is then that there comes uncontrollable cell growths and the old cells also do not die. These additional uncontrollable cells then in most cases go on to form a tumour or unnatural growth of a cluster of tissues. There are majorly 5 categories of cancer seen so far.

These are –

  • Carcinomas – These types begin in the tissues or skins, which lines along the internal organ.
  • Sarcomas – Sarcomas are that kind of cancer which develops in the cartilages, bones, fats, muscles or other connective tissues.
  • Lymphomas – These types of cancer start in the immunity system and goes on to destroy the same
  • Leukaemia – Leukaemia is the type of cancer which affects the blood and the bone marrow system
  • Central Nervous System Cancers – These are the types of cancer which develops and subsequently spreads in the brain and the spinal cord.
Photo credit : Angiola Hary from Unsplash

Now, we may ask, what nutritional aspect can help us in reducing the chances of having cancerous growth in our bodies? In fact, anti- cancer diets are extremely important factors in reducing the risk of cancer.

According to Lillian Craggs-Dino, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, “Being overweight and obesity are very closely correlated to cancer because of the inflammatory process. A strong immune system helps to naturally fight off cancer”. Thus, it is imperative to get our nutritional facts correct, because what we eat and what we don’t eat is now directly related to a number of Cancers.

Nutrition is not a cancer treatment medicine but what you eat before, after and during the treatment  impact the outcome of the disease.

Dietitians &  Nutritionist globally suggest dietary plans  according to individualized BMI, but over all the things that can be taken in one’s own hands are –

  • A colourful diet with lots of green veggies, fruits, soya, nuts etc is a must to be in a relatively safe zone.
  • Lot of fruits. Colourful fruits lower the risk of stomach & lung cancer.
  • Consuming vegetables such as sprouts, carrots, etc will help reducing the risk of Cancer of lung, mouth, pharynx, and larynx.
  • Stomach & Oesophageal Cancers may be avoided to a certain extent by consumption of non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, beans or spinach, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Foods containing Vitamin C, like oranges, berries, peas etc are also extremely beneficial against Oesophageal Cancer.
  • Then foods which are high in content lycopene are good in avoiding prostate cancer. These foods are tomatoes, guava, watermelon etc.

Apart from these small tips in eating healthy, when it comes to nutrients in fighting cancer, one must avoid trans-fat, cut down on sugars, processed meats or refined carbohydrates.

Carcinogens or Cancer-causing substances found in various foods, must be avoided and cooking methods needed to be relooked to prepare food in a healthy manner

For example, one must store oil in dark air-tight containers so that they do not become rancid, or one must avoid consumption oil which is preheated and used earlier.

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