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Are there ways to prevent cancer with diet?

According The American Cancer Society, “Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk.” Fruits and vegetables contain loads of antioxidants. The body seems to use these nutrients in vegetables and fruits to protect against damage to tissues that happens constantly as a result of normal metabolism (how your body runs itself). Because such damage is linked with increased cancer risk, the antioxidant nutrients are thought to protect against cancer. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, the mineral selenium, and many other phytochemicals (chemicals from plants). That’s one reason the American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 5 servings of these plant foods every day.
Eating processed foods and too much red meat has been associated with a higher incidence of colon cancer so it is best to keep the intake of these foods to a minimum. Also, in addition to helping prevent heart disease, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lean meat and fish is generally associated with less cancer.
Diet and lifestyle factors are proven to decrease risk of certain types of cancer. Three tips include: being as lean as possible without being underweight; using more fresh foods in your diet from fresh lean protein sources such as a variety of fish or legumes; and decreasing or limiting all processed food items such as those items in the center isles of the grocery store high in sugar, sodium, or fat. 
A diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for cancer prevention. In the food form, the phytochemical beta-carotene neutralizes free radicals, which may damage cells. The anti-cancer compounds found in cabbage and kale such as indole-3-carbinoles and isothiocyanates have also been linked to a lower incidence of lung cancer.
A recent study published in the journal, Cancer Prevention Research, found in mice models, a diet high in fiber can actually slow the progression of prostate cancer.
And, tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which has been found to reduce the risk of prostate, pancreas, breast and colon cancer when it is combined with healthy fats, such as the olive oil.
Diadra L. Harnden, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Certain foods, especially plant-based foods, contain nutrients that may help fight cancer. Watch as Diadra Harnden, RD, of HCA Midwest Health, explains what foods you should add to your diet. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.