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Vegetarians Show Reduced Rate of Cancer

Population studies, conducted over long periods of time, have shown that a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of some cancers.

A commonly researched group, the Seventh Day Adventists, most of whom follow a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for religious reasons, have as low as half the cancer rate of an equivalent
population. One of two health studies conducted among Seventh Day Adventists at Loma Linda University in California, this one following 34,000 Adventists between 1976 and 1982, found significantly lower risk of developing cancers at most of the major cancer sites (stomach, lung, pancreas, rectum, bladder, and large intestine) in Adventists following a vegetarian diet.

A larger health study among 125,000 Seventh Day Adventists is now enrolling study participants across the US and Canada. This 10-year study is expected to further determine the effects of a vegetarian diet on cancer incidence (see adventisthealthstudy.org).

Researchers will need to take into account that most vegetarians generally do not smoke and only occasionally drink alcohol.

Foods for Cancer Prevention

Colourful fruit and veggies such as tomatoes, blueberries, turmeric, yams, and beets are rich in health-promoting bioflavonoids. Even red beans, a staple for vegetarian chili, have powerful cancer-fighting pigments in their skin. Also choose whole grains (such as barley and brown and wild rice), onions and garlic, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.

Happy Hemp Harvest

Canada has been legally growing and selling hemp seeds since 1998 and is a major provider to the North American market. Since the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was thwarted in its attempt to ban hemp foods in 2004, the Hemp Industries Association reports that hemp food product sales have shown a 50-percent increase, from an estimated $8 million during the 12-month reference period in 2004 to almost $12 million in 2005.

Canadian growers played an important role in the coalition that challenged the DEA, and according to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, Canadian farmers planted over 24,000 acres of hemp in 2005, almost triple the 2004 acreage, netting profits between $200 and $250 per acre.

Nutritious hemp seeds are readily available in many tasty forms, including hemp nut butter, hempseed oil, and protein powder. They contain an excellent balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which are also found to varying degrees in other plant sources such as flaxseed and oil, fresh walnuts, beans, and even leafy green vegetables.

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