Among a number of factors that increase the risk of cancer, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle appear as important in today’s age. As we become more inactive with each passing year, our cancer risk escalates. This highlights the critical role of a healthy diet and regular physical activity in preventing various malignancies. A well-balanced diet can nourish our body, strengthening our immune system and providing our body with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that can have a protective effect against cancer. Many types of cancer can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Although a nutritious diet does not guarantee complete protection, it can certainly help reduce the risk of cancer. (Also Read | World Cancer Day 2024: Date, History, Theme, Significance, Signs and Symptoms)
“In our quest for a healthier lifestyle, the importance of a well-balanced diet cannot be overstated. While no one food can guarantee immunity against cancer, incorporating some nutrient-dense options into our daily meals can contribute to a proactive approach to reducing cancer risk,” says Dr Neeti Sharma, Sr. Consultant – Nutrition & Dietetics, Marengo Asia Hospitals, Sector 56, Gurugram.
TOP CANCER FIGHTING FOODS
In an interview with HT Digital, Dr Sharma, talks about six cancer-fighting foods you should consider including in your daily diet:
1. Cruciferous vegetables
Embrace the power of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, these vegetables have shown promise in reducing the risk of various cancers, including breast and prostate cancer.
Nature’s sweet treats, berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. These compounds help fight oxidative stress, which is linked to the development of cancer. Enjoy a handful of berries as a snack or add them to your breakfast cereal for a burst of flavor and health benefits.
The living spice turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound. Studies show that curcumin may have anti-cancer properties by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Incorporate turmeric into your cooking or consider a turmeric supplement to reap its potential health benefits.
4. Green leaves
Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These greens provide a nutrient-dense foundation for a healthy diet and may help prevent cancer by supporting overall cellular health.
5. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, have been associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, particularly colon cancer. Aim to include oily fish in your diet at least twice a week to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory and protective properties of omega-3 fatty acids.
Beyond adding flavor to your dishes, garlic has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, has shown anti-cancer effects in various laboratory studies. Include fresh garlic in your meals to enhance not only the taste but also promote health.
While these cancer-fighting foods can be beneficial, it’s essential to maintain a holistic approach to health, including regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.
Check Republic Day 2024 live updates