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Health and Fitness News

Cut Your Risk with a Knife

Help prevent cancer by including these foods in your diet.

You know that the foods you eat have a direct impact on your health. When you fill your body with added sugars, artificial ingredients, and saturated fat, you shouldn’t be surprised if you wind up dealing with obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer.

Nourish your body with a variety of whole foods, on the other hand, and you can expect to reduce your risk of these same diseases and many others.

Disease—cancer included—doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of your future. Eat right, stay healthy, and take advantage of the right foods and ingredients and you can increase your ability to prevent cancer. As you grocery shop each week, pay attention to the foods you put in your cart, and when eating out, think twice before placing your order. Nobody wants cancer, so include the following foods in your diet to fight off this dreaded disease.

Fighting Food 1: Fruits

Filled with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber, fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet. Some fruits, however, are more powerful at combating cancers. Be sure to include berries of all kinds (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, acai, and raspberries), red or purple grapes, pears, pomegranates, melons, papayas, and oranges and other citrus fruits. Eating fresh, whole fruit with the skin is the healthiest way to eat fruit. Drinking fruit juice has some benefit, but when turned into juice, much of the fruit’s fiber is eliminated. Juice is also very high in sugar.

Fighting Food 2: Vegetables

Most people eat far fewer vegetables than they should for good health. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, eating more vegetables is a great option. Fill your plate with colorful vegetables including kale (and other leafy greens), sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and tomatoes. They’ll increase your overall health and help fortify you against cancers of all sorts.

Fighting Food 3: Protein

Want to further enhance your cancer protection? Think protein. But limit the amount of red meat you consume and avoid processed meats. Instead, go with healthier sources of protein, which include lean turkey or chicken, salmon, tofu, eggs, and beans (black, pinto, red, or garbanzo).

Fighting Food 3: Whole Grains

Another food group that plays an important role in cancer prevention is whole grains. This includes breads, cereals, chips, crackers, and pastas—but not just any type of bread, cereal, chips, cracker, or pasta. Be very picky about what kinds you eat. Look for those made with 100-percent whole grains. Instead of white rice, choose brown rice or wild rice. Only whole grain options contain the fiber and nutrients necessary for good health, lasting fullness, and disease prevention.

Fighting Food 4: Snacks

To maintain your defense against cancer, keep cookies, chips, cakes, and other highly processed snack foods out of the house. Instead, when you’re craving a snack, choose nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or peanuts), air-popped popcorn, whole grain crackers or veggie sticks dipped in hummus, fruits, vegetables, or Greek yogurt. They taste great and have great power against cancer.

Fighting Beverages

It’s a common misconception that sugar makes cancer cells grow or spread. However, like all cells, cancer cells use sugars for energy. While avoiding sugar won’t cure someone of cancer, a diet high in sugar does contribute to weight gain, excess amounts of body fat, and type 2 diabetes, all of which may increase your risk for various cancers. Build healthy cells and fend off cancer with sugar-free beverages. Skip the sweet tea, soda, energy drinks, and fruit punch and choose water or green or white tea to satisfy your thirst.

With these foods and drinks, you aren’t guaranteed a cancer-free life, but cancer will have to work a lot harder to attack you. So eat and drink smartly and take heart knowing you’re taking steps to fend off cancer!