Your Food Guide For Cancer Preventative Nutrition
Nutrition is certainly an important component of over-all good health as well as helpful in balancing a diet that be helpful in cancer preventative measures. I recently attended a webinar hosted by Triage Cancer called Fighting Cancer With Your Fork by Julie Lanford, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN and founder of cancerdietitian.com
Let’s start off with a quiz!
Are phytochemicals good for you or bad?
If you guessed good, bingo!
Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds found in plant-based foods. So far, 900 types of phytochemicals have been discovered and they all work in tandem to keep your health in optimum order. Below are just a few of them and what they do…
• Saponins-ability to inhibit reproduction of cancer cells
• Protease inhibitors- slow cancer cells division ability
• Phytic acid- slow progression of tumor
• Rich in fiber-decrease risk of colon cancer
• Antioxidants-help to delay/prevent cell damage by free-radicals
The Most Researched Foods
Beans: soybeans, lentils, peas
Berries: strawberries, cranberries, blueberries best eaten raw instead of juice (need the pulp!)
Cruciferous Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: spinach, kale, romaine, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, swiss chard, chicory
The Allium Family: garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, chives, shallots
The great thing about garlic is the more that your eat of garlic, the better it is for you (as long as you’re ok with the garlic breath!)
Grapes and Grape Juice
Rich in source of resveratrol (you may have heard of it in red wine). The skin of the grape contains the highest traces of it. Red and purple grapes contain significantly more resveratrol than green grapes. Jam and raisins contain much less. Wine does contains resveratrol, however there has been evidence linked to increased risk of certain types of cancers
Brewing your own tea is much better than buying the pre-packaged teas in the store. Those teas may come high in sugar. Green tea has 3 times as much catechins than black tea. Decaf and caffeinated are both fine types of teas in terms of getting a good dose of antioxidants. Keep in mind very high amounts of green tea is known to have issues with proper blood clotting (when taken in highly concentrated pill forms). The tea form is the best.
Soybeans, tofu, soymilk, soynuts, miso (soy paste), tempeh, soy burger, and soynut butter are all great sources of soy!
Add tofu favorite pasta dish or cube it up to toss on the grill. Caution against using powered versions of soy, the real-deal is always the best!
Lycopene is the phytochemicals that makes tomatoes red. AICR researchers have found evidence that foods high in lycopene have been attributed to protection against prostate cancer.
‘Whole grain’ means all three parts of the grain kernel are included which are germ, bran, and endosperm. Wheat (breads, rolls, pasta, and cereals), popcorn, and wild rice are all great sources of whole grain!
How Much is Enough?!
For a long time, there was issues with understanding what the proper amount of servings were. 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day is the best recommendation and that can be either cooked or raw!
Keep in mind, unfortunately, there is not a single food that can help prevent against cancer. However, a concept called synergy is mounting evidence that minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals in plant based foods interact in a way that can help provide extra cancer protection-food for thought.
Please be aware nutrition is not a guarantee, it’s about helping odds. The recommendation for cancer survivors is to follow the recommendation for prevention and to follow your doctor’s advice
For more evidence-based reports and resources on foods that can help you in your cancer preventative diet , visit