Many people associate cancer with being a hereditary disease that’s unpreventable. However, by making smart lifestyle choices, you can reduce your chance for developing cancer and multiple chronic conditions. Taking care of your skin, quitting smoking, eliminating alcohol consumption and exercising daily are a few ways you can aid cancer prevention, but diet makes an even larger impact on your overall health and longevity.
So how exactly does a diet change reduce your risk for developing cancer? Let’s take a closer look at some of the food options to avoid, plus replacement suggestions for fueling a healthy body:
How Does Diet Impact Your Risk?
While there are certain uncontrollable factors – such as genetics – that may increase your cancer risk, the American Cancer Society reports that only 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are the result of inherited genes. That means that the lifestyle choices you make, such as following a proper diet, have a much stronger impact on your chance of developing cancer.
Neglecting to eat a variety of wholesome fruits and vegetables, and instead consuming processed meats, refined sugars and grains, GMO products, preservatives and other chemically-ridden options can negatively impact your entire body. When you fill your system with these harmful additives, you’re essentially breaking down your immune system, reducing your body’s ability to defend itself against chronic diseases. According to Cancer Research UK, an unhealthy diet can increase your risk for developing the following types of cancers:
- Upper throat.
Eating the Right Foods
By consuming nutrient-rich foods, you can fuel your immune system to fight off viruses that may lead to cancer. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, eliminating saturated and trans fats, salt, sugar and processed foods is the first step. Next, start following a diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruits and fiber. Avoiding meat is another suggestion for aiding cancer prevention, according to Carolyn Lammersfeld, vice president of Integrative Medicine at CTCA.
“Diets rich in red and processed meats are associated with an increased cancer risk,” she said.
Instead, she recommends following a diet that focuses on organic whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables and beans.
Whenever possible, choose organic products. Finding fruits and vegetables that have been grown in safe soil with no modifications, pesticides, chemical fertilizers or other processes reduces your chance of consuming artificial ingredients which could result in developing disease.
Our Suggestion: Start Juicing!
By now, you know that consuming a primarily raw, plant-based diet is key to cancer prevention, but that’s just the start. To ease the process of getting used to eating so many fruits and vegetables – and increase the amount of vitamins and minerals you consume each day – we recommend juicing. It’s a simple way to reduce the toxins in your body, while supercharging your system almost instantly. Check out some of our favorite homemade juice recipes for some inspiration in the kitchen!