Sally Errey, RNCP
I am often asked, â??Doesnâ??t everything cause cancer?â? With all the latest news and research, most people clearly understand that lifestyle habits, genetics, chemicals, and stress factors all have links to cancer.
I am often asked, “Doesn’t everything cause cancer?” With all the latest news and research, most people clearly understand that lifestyle habits, genetics, chemicals, and stress factors all have links to cancer.
I am happy to report, though, that not everything causes cancer and that we can take certain actions to substantially reduce our risk. Along with exercising more, quitting smoking, and managing stress better, we can also focus on food and diet.
Research from around the world indicates that following and maintaining a vegetarian diet can reduce risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer, some of the most prevalent cancers in this country. Most studies indicate that vegetarians are less likely than carnivores to be diagnosed with colon cancer. Vegetarians have also been shown to have stronger immune function, which may also contribute to reduced cancer risk. Further, a vegetarian diet has no animal-based saturated fats, a known risk factor and source of accumulated toxins.
By eating predominantly fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, vegetarians obtain considerable amounts of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, all proven factors in decreasing cancer risk. Fibre helps bind toxins and promotes a healthy colon. The antioxidant vitamins A, E, and C help to reduce free radicals, which can damage DNA and lead to cancer initiation. Minerals such as selenium and zinc are critical for immune function. Phytochemicals such as polyphenols, the colourful pigments found in plant foods, flavonoids, and antioxidants–such as quercetin, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidin from citrus fruits, berries, onions, parsley, legumes, green tea, red wine, and dark chocolate–further combat free radical damage and increase immunity.
Whether you’re veggie or not, you’ll need daily servings of all these cancer-preventing ingredients for health and a lengthy, cancer-free life.