The correlation between obesity and cancer should not surprise us, if we take into account how food impacts the functions of our cells and organs. Scientists say obesity represents a state of chronic inflammation, so that our body continuously produces substances that have an impact on regular cell activity. Many of the substances in today’s modern foods helps healthy cells escape controls, and starts the tumor process. For this reason, it is crucial to follow a balanced and healthy diet because it’s an essential part of a winning strategy for cancer prevention.
Pinpointing Risks for Cancer
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, three out of ten cancerous tumors are caused by poor eating habits. Researchers, in fact, associate obesity and body mass index with an increased risk of as many as 13 types of cancer. Researchers say the influence of dietary habits on cancer risk depends on the presence of some specific substances in certain foods that can promote the disease. There are substances responsible for increased sensitivity to liver or stomach cancer, like the presence of nitrites and nitrates, used to store cured meats, and many epidemiological studies point the finger at a diet rich in animal fats and proteins. Doctors and nutritionists say we need to put more focus on those foods that can help us diminish the risk of developing cancer.
The Role of Nutrigenomics
Scientists are talking more and more about nutrigenomics, the science that studies the effects of nutrition on every single person, influencing the appearance of certain diseases, including tumors. It’s important to remember that foods cannot replace good medical care, but they can certainly be a valuable aid for disease prevention.
Several foods have been shown to help aid the fight against cancer;
Cruciferous Vegetables: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Bok Choy Can Strengthen the Immune System
Several cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, bok choy, contain substances that help to strengthen the immune system and protect cells by eliminating free radicals. They contain a chemical component, indole-3-carbinol, which is able to fight breast cancer and glucoraphanin, a substance that blocks the growth of tumors.
Carrots and Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene Provide Powerful Antioxidants
The orange color of foods like the carrot depends on the presence of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, also present in pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots, peaches, melons, and mangoes. The beta-carotene plays a fundamental role in communication between cells, helping to prevent cancer, especially the esophagus, mouth, throat, lungs, intestine, stomach, bladder, prostate and breast. In addition to anti-cancer foods, there are also foods that can increase the risk of cancer: among these are processed and refined foods, and sugary drinks. To control cancer, it’s become more important to limit consumption of “bad” foods and lead a more balanced healthy lifestyle that’s conducive to preventing disease.