If you've given any thought to cancer prevention, you have probably thought about your diet.
Almost every week a new trend is hitting the health food headlines and can make it almost impossible to settle on what to eat and not eat. But there is one diet that is consistently proven, over more than two decades to reduce your risk for cancer, and that is a plant-based diet.
Eating plant-based does not mean you can’t eat meat. Although, I would heavily advise you to cut down and, if you have had a cancer diagnosis, I would advise you to stop altogether. It means your meals are mostly plants, wholegrains, vegetables and fruits, plus beans, seeds and nuts must be added to the mix.
One of the key factors is that a plant-based diet helps maintain a healthy weight. Staying at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk for cancer.
When it comes to cancer, the other thing that’s just as important as maintaining a healthy weight is not smoking or eating processed foods, such as cured meats. Excess weight causes inflammation and hormonal imbalance. If you are overweight or obese, your risk is higher for many different types of cancers including colorectal, breast, oesophageal, kidney and pancreatic.
If you eat mostly plants, you remove many of the foods that lead to weight gain and toxicity. Add in exercise and you’re on a path towards great health!
Plants are high in fibre which is present in all unprocessed plant foods. It is what makes up the structure of the plant and if you eat more of it you access a whole host of benefits. Eating a plant-based diet improves the health of your gut so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from food that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Fibre can lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management. Plus, it is very important for reducing your cancer risk. This is especially true for your risk for the third most common cancer, colorectal cancer.
A plant-based diet reduces your risk for other diseases too. The benefits of eating mostly plants are not limited to reducing your cancer risk and can prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some mental health illnesses too.
A BIG NO NO!
Just because they are vegetables, foods such as deep-fried vegetables are a no-go. So are highly processed foods like crackers and cookies. Limit sugary desserts as well and make sure you are picking whole grains. Regular pasta, white bread and white rice may be plant products but they are not made from whole grains. Choose 100% whole wheat pasta and brown rice to maintain great health.