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10 Ways A Healthy Diet Can Reduce The Risk Of Cancer

Posted Sep 28 2008 5:55pm

There are many different types of cancer; lung, breast, prostate, skin, bowel and mouth amongst others. Deaths have decreased but by 2020 Cancer Research predicts there will be 15 million new cases of cancer, an increase of 50%. Start working out prevention strategies now to avoid being a statistic.

Research has shown that a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of cancer, in some cases particular types of food have a beneficial effect.

Here are ten ways in which you can help reduce the risk of cancer through a healthy diet.


1. Take your 5 a day - consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. It is not enough to just have 5 different types of fruit or veg. A portion which usually equals a handful is the recommended amount. If you are finding it hard to consume 5 a day try including smoothies or fruit juices at breakfast, having fruit as a snack, drinking vegetable soup and fill the cookie jar with fruit to stop temptation.

2. Reduce the amount of red meat you consume. Studies show that hormone bred red meat contributes to not only cancer but heart disease. The recommended amount is no more than 3 times a week. The real risk comes to those eating it daily.

3. Snack on healthy alternatives to crisps and sweets such as a piece of fruit, a few rice crackers or a yogurt.

4. Reduced fat is essential in reducing risk. In particular dairy such as full fat milks and cheeses. Swap these for low fat dairy, low fat bakery and increase the amount of oily fish and cereals in the diet.

5. Try eating six small meals rather than three big meals. This helps to avoid hunger cravings and snacking on sweets. Steam the vegetables rather than boiling or microwaving them to retain all the vitamins or even better, eat it raw!

6. Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. Fruit juice should be limited to once or twice a day as they can be high in calories. Limit tea, coffee and alcohol. If you are drinking these, do so in moderation.

7. Exercise for thirty minutes a day for at least three times a week doing activities such as walking, swimming and cycling. If you aren’t a fitness guru try carrying the groceries back from the shops instead of taking the car and use the stairs instead of the elevator. Housework is an overlooked form of exercise but it is cheap and quick. Activities such as vacuuming and dusting can be a good calorie burner and overall workout.

8. Choose foods that incorporate phytochemicals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. These are the cancer fighting ‘buzzwords’. There are many foods now that are modified to include omega 3 such as bread and cereal. Oily fish contain this ingredient naturally. Fresh vegetables and fruit contribute to a well rounded healthy diet. Phytochemicals and antioxidants are found in carrots, garlic and grapes.

9. Alternative therapies such as dance therapy, yoga and massage can all be beneficial in promoting good physical health combined with creative therapy for mental well-being.

10. Include more high-fibre food into the diet such as wholemeal bread and pasta, wholegrain cereals and folate rich vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.

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