Cancer Control Month
Back to Nutrition and Wellness
As much as one third of all cancer cases in the US can be linked to poor diet, limited exercise, and obesity. Small healthy lifestyle changes made daily can become lifelong habits for good health. Here are a few ways to begin taking those small steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
Antioxidants in foods do more than look pretty. Eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors may be the key to good nutrition; this is because of the phytochemicals in the foods often called antioxidants. These pigmented fruits and vegetables provide nutrients such as orange caratonoids, which are important for healthy vision and red lycopene that promote good heart health. Eating a diet high in antioxidant foods may help to prevent or delay some types of cell damage and reduce cancer risks.
Fiber, the multipurpose cancer fighter. Eating foods to get at least 30g of fiber per day can help to protect against certain cancers such as colorectal cancer and can prevent some chronic diseases. Fiber can be soluble, meaning it dissolves in water e.g. oatmeal; or insoluble, not dissolving in water e.g. seeds. A diet high in fiber will help you feel full after meals, help control body weight, promote a healthy bowel movement, and protects the colon. Remember to slowly increase fiber amounts daily and drink plenty of water to avoid discomfort.
Limit consumption of red meat and avoid processed meat. Try to consume less than 18 ounces of red meat per week as this kind of meat has been shown to have a link with certain cancers; red meats include beef, pork, and lamb. Select smaller portions of red meat when dining out or shopping for foods. Research has shown a link between processed meats and certain types of cancer. Avoid eating or limit the amount of processed meats such as, deli meats, bacon, and hotdogs. You can try replacing these meats with lean poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu.
Incorporating some of these diet recommendations may seem hard at first but, with consistency and making very small habit changes at a time, they can become part of your daily healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a balanced diet and being physically active are more important than ever. Listed below is a Beta-carotene Blast Smoothie that is full of fruits, veggies, fiber and even some protein!
Beta Blast Smoothie
4-6oz. Mango (fresh, peeled, pitted)
2 small Carrots (grated or chopped)
Place all ingredients in blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
Add more milk as needed to desired thickness.
*Add a few handfuls of spinach to make this a green smoothie!
National Institute of Health. Antioxidants 2014. https://medlineplus.gov/antioxidants.html. Accessed March 9, 2015.
National Institute of Health. Diet and Cancer 2013. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002096.htm. Accessed March 9, 2015
American Institute for Cancer Research. Get Facts On Fiber 2012. http://www.aicr.org/. Accessed March 9, 2015.
American Institute for Cancer Research. Red and Processed Meats: The Cancer Connection 2011. http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/diet/elements_red_processed_meat.html. Accessed March 10, 2015.