Unfortunately, there is no ‘magic food bullet’ that will stop cancer in its tracks. However, research has identified key nutrition steps that you can start taking now that will help prevent cancer.
5 key steps to preventing cancer through food
1. MIND YOUR WAIST
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor, thanks to busy, cancer-promoting fat cells.
• Keep your Body Mass Index < 25 and your waist < 93 cm for men or < 80 cm for women
• Know how much food you need to keep on track (portion control)
Easier said than done? Contact your Dietitian, Kinesiologist and Family Health Nurse at Copeman Healthcare to develop a plan.
2. FORGET TRENDS, EMBRACE THE CLASSICS
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is always in fashion. Maximize your intake of hundreds of plant chemicals, from Anthocyanins to Zeaxanthins, which protect us from cancer.
• Eat a dark green and an orange vegetable or fruit every day
• Eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables every day Top picks: leafy greens (e.g., arugula, kale, spinach), cruciferous (e.g., broccolini, cauliflower, brussel sprouts), allium (e.g., garlic, chives, scallions), bright orange (e.g., carrots, squash, sweet potato), citrus (e.g., oranges, pummelos, lemons), tomatoes & berries.
3. REDUCE ALCOHOL INTAKE
If you drink, stick within the guidelines; men should aim for < 14 standard drinks/week and women <7 standard drinks/week. Having more than this increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast.
4. EAT LESS RED MEAT, ESPECIALLY CHARRED
• Eat only one serving/ day (75 grams or 2.5 ounces) of beef, lamb, or pork. Opt instead for beans, legumes, fish, and poultry.
• Cook meat, poultry, and fish at lower temperatures by braising, steaming, stewing, or roasting instead of grilling with high heat.
5. BE SUPPLEMENT SAVVY
Ask your health care team about the safety, efficacy, and research behind any supplement you are considering. Research now suggests that nutrients in food work better as a team (“synergy”) to fight disease than when taken individually. As a rule of thumb, focus on eating whole foods first.