Can you reduce the risk of cancer with diet?

Can you reduce the risk of cancer with diet

This disease is the second cause of death in the world.

A balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy body. The World Health Organization points out that good eating habits help prevent disease.

“A healthy diet helps protect us from malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.”

The American Society of Clinical Oncology notes that “some foods and the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that constitute them may raise or lower the risk of cancer. Researchers have been studying how certain foods, nutrients, and eating patterns are associated with cancer.”

The results of these investigations have shown that the consumption of certain foods can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology the list of several of these are the following:

  1. Foods of vegetable origin: of this type of food there are different healthy nutrients for the human body. Carotenoids (red, yellow and orange colored vegetables), polyphenols (herbs, spices, greens, nuts, apples and other plants) and Allium compounds (garlic, leek).
  2. Antioxidants: Help protect the body from oxidants, which cause cell damage. This includes vitamin E and vitamin C.
  3. Minerals and other vitamins :
  4. Dietary fiber: contributes positively to the digestive process, helping to move food quickly and maintaining a healthy microbiome. The latter is related to a lower risk of cancer. Some of the high fiber foods include: Whole grains and seeds including barley, oats, Kamut, einkorn, bulgur, corn, psyllium, rye, legumes, lentils, whole grain pasta, vegetables etc.

Great care must be taken with the amount of red and processed meats that are included in the daily diet, since any processed meat is related to cancer risk.


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. This disease develops when a change occurs in the DNA of cells.

“The DNA in a cell is contained within a large number of genes, each of which contains a set of instructions that tells the cell what functions to perform, and how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and become a cancer cell ”, details the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit entity dedicated to clinical practice, education and research.

The US National Institutes of Health explain that it is not possible to know exactly why a person has cancer. However, there are some risk factors for the disease, such as exposure to chemicals and other substances and some habits.

  • Alcohol
  • Diet
  • Age
  • infectious germs
  • hormones
  • Chronic inflamation
  • immunosuppression
  • Sunlight
  • Obesity
  • Radiation
  • Substances in the environment that cause cancer
  • Tobacco

Mayo Clinic explains that the leading cause of cancer death is lung cancer. The main risk factor for suffering from it is smoking cigarettes or tobacco.

Some of the risk factors mentioned above can be avoided and stopped, such as some behaviors such as smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. However, avoiding them does not mean that cancer can be avoided, but that the risk is reduced.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides some recommendations that can help reduce risk factors:

  • Don’t smoke and stay away from smoke from people who do.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption.
  • Protect the skin from overexposure to sunlight. Avoid the use of tanning chambers.
  • Eat many fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a healthy weight. For this it is important to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

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