Cancer is the most common cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, its incidence is still increasing in developing countries. According to the data of the project called Global Cancer Observatory, in which the World Health Organization conducts international cancer research; 18 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year, and the number of patients who died from this disease exceeded 9.5 million.
Although genetic factors are responsible for 5-10% of cancer, the disease is affected by environmental factors at a rate of 90-95%. 30% of these environmental factors are our eating habits.
By eating healthy, we can actually be protected from cancer at a rate of 30 percent. Moreover, when we pay attention to 3 important rules such as eating healthy, walking briskly for 30 minutes every day and staying in the ideal weight range, this rate rises to 40’s.
Acıbadem Maslak Hospital 1. Consume a wide variety of vegetables and fruits
Studies have shown that people who consume enough fruit and vegetables during the day have a 10% lower risk of cancer compared to those who do not. Consume as many different colored vegetables and fruits as possible every day to prevent cancer. Because the more different colors you eat, the more antioxidants you get.
Women should consume 2-3 servings of fruit a day and men should consume 3-4 servings of fruit. Vegetables are a source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. A diet rich in fiber is especially protective against cancers of the digestive system.
Make it a habit to consume 2-3 bowls of raw vegetables and 6-8 tablespoons of olive oil or cooked vegetables a day. Make sure that vegetables and fruits are “in season”.
2. Do not neglect grains and legumes
Especially with popular diets, the trend towards uniform nutrition has increased. “But eating well means eating enough of each nutrient. So if you have a uniform diet, you are actually malnourished.” Nutrition and Diet Specialist Özge Öçal continues her words as follows:
“Therefore, do not remove carbohydrates from your life. However, only consume ‘quality’ sources of whole grains and legumes. Cereals are a source of vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 is both necessary for the body’s energy system to work, and is the precursor of the ‘serotonin’ hormone, which we know as happiness.
To be healthy is to be in a state of complete physical and mental well-being.
Depression can lower our immune system and increase the risk of many systemic diseases, including cancer. Therefore, take care to consume grain sources such as whole wheat bread, oats, soup and bulgur every day, and legumes such as lentils, dry beans and chickpeas at least 2 days a week.
3. Consume fish 2-3 days a week
According to studies, omega 3 fatty acids, which have many benefits on human health, also reduce the risk of developing cancer. Make it a habit to consume steamed or baked fish 2-3 times a week to benefit from the protective effects of omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Consume less red meat!
Excessive consumption of red meat increases the risk of stomach and colon cancer. Therefore, limit your meat consumption to no more than 2 days a week and not exceeding 350 grams in total. Instead of frying and roasting while cooking meat; Prefer oven, steaming or boiling processes. According to the World Health Organization; Consumption of 50 g of processed meat per day can increase the risk of cancer by 18 percent. Therefore, do not consume processed meat products as much as possible.
5. Get the sugar out of your life!
Excess consumption of refined sugar causes an increase in adipose tissue by increasing both energy intake and insulin levels. Increased adipose tissue can also increase the risk of cancer. For this reason, make sure that the sugar you consume daily does not exceed 5 percent of your total energy intake. For example, if you consume 2000 calories per day, no more than 100 calories should come from sugar.
6. Do not neglect probiotics
The intestines are responsible for the majority of our immune system. Any functional disorder in our intestines can lower our immune system, which can invite many diseases. One of these diseases is; cancer. “Good and bad bacteria are in balance in our intestines, but this balance can be disrupted due to environmental factors such as poor diet, smoking, stress and alcohol.” Nutrition and Diet Specialist Özge Öçal warns that you should benefit from natural probiotic sources such as yogurt and kefir in order not to disturb this balance. Therefore, make it a habit to consume a total of 3 glasses of yogurt or kefir a day.
7. Be careful about the presence of unsaturated fatty acids in your diet
Fatty oils such as soybean and canola oil, soybean, flaxseed, hazelnut and walnut, which contain mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are protective against cancer. Include seeds in your diet.