Cancer Prevention: The Benefits of a Healthy Diet

Cancer Prevention: The Benefits of a Healthy Diet

Doctors recommend a healthy, well-balanced diet to minimize the risk of general health complications. For an overall healthier diet, focus on eating more fruits, vegetables and foods high in fiber. Additionally, try to avoid regular consumption of processed foods that are high in sugar and sodium.

No one should feel that they can’t indulge in their favorite treats on occasion, but moderation is key to maintaining an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.

  • Alcohol — Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, heavy alcohol consumption is known to increase risk for cancers of the esophagus, liver, breast, colon, rectum and oral cavity. Moderating alcohol consumption is best for an overall healthier diet.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables — Vegetables like kale, turnips, arugula, collard greens and broccoli are all cruciferous vegetables. Rich in fiber, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin K and various minerals, cruciferous vegetables have been found to inhibit cancer in rats and mice. Results for human studies are mixed, but there is research supporting the theory that cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of prostate, colorectal, lung and breast cancers.
  • Antioxidants — Antioxidants block the activity of free radicals that are associated with cancer development. Animal studies have shown that high antioxidant consumption can minimize cancer risk, but studies in humans are less convincing.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet

In addition to reducing the risk of some cancers, a healthy diet, physical activity and maintenance of a healthy weight are all important factors for lessening the risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

To determine the best diet for you, contact your doctor or licensed nutritionist to formulate a plan that works with your lifestyle.