Since 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point, folks can’t be faulted for trying to find ways to prevent the Big C. In addition to losing weight and quitting smoking, the American Cancer Society (ACS) suggests good nutrition can help slash cancer risk.
The ACS recommends we derive our nutrients from foods rather than supplements. Key substances shown to reduce cancer risk are antioxidants and fiber. In addition, the ACS advises curbing salt and alcohol intake because they can boost cancer risk.
Antioxidants help protect against the tissue damage caused by normal metabolism that’s linked to increased cancer risk. These substances include vitamin A, beta-carotene and lycopene and are found in sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, Brussels sprouts and oranges. Higher dietary fiber is linked to reduced risk of colorectal cancer and is found in lentils, peas, oat bran and whole grains.
Alcohol raises the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast and the colon and rectum, so no more than two drinks daily for men and one drink daily for women is advised. Similarly, there’s evidence that diets rich in salted and pickled foods increase the risk of stomach, nasopharyngeal and throat cancer, so if meals are too bland for your taste reach for a spice instead.