Some risks for cancer are out of your control, but choosing a healthy diet is one way you can take action.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans have been shown to help prevent some types of cancer. Whole grains can help to reduce risk of colon cancer. Check for the words “100 percent whole grain” on ingredient labels.
Strawberries and blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which have cancer-fighting properties. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful plant compound that may protect against prostate cancer. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes and other red-orange produce are rich in beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells from damage.
Kale, spinach, romaine lettuce and other green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, lutein and flavonoids, which may protect against oral cancers.
Even beverage choice of can have an impact. That morning cup of joe contains a variety of plant compounds that may help to prevent some cancers. Laboratory studies have suggested that green tea may help to slow the development of colon, liver, breast and prostate cancers.
Limiting certain foods is also important. Red meat has been linked to colorectal and other cancers. Grilling meat over high heat can promote the formtion of cancer-causing agents. Instead, opt for grilled vegetables, which don’t create carcinogens when exposed to high heat.
A dietitian at Beloit Health System can offer advice on healthy eating and other ways to reduce your health risks. Call (608) 364-5574 for more information or to schedule an appointment. ❚
- 5 cups spinach leaves packed, washed, dried well
- 2 oranges peeled, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 red onion sliced thin
- 1 whole cucumber sliced
- 1/3 cup light vinaigrette dressing
- Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add dressing and toss again.