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Many recent studies have shown the important role our diet plays in everyday health, and in the prevention of cancer. On the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4 we have rounded up some of the key foods to include in your diet that could help ward off cancer, as well as promote general health and well-being.
A large study published last month which looked at over 90,000 women found that eating a high-fiber diet in early adulthood, which included plenty of fruit and vegetables, could lower the risk of breast cancer in later life by 12 to 19% compared to those who ate much less or no dietary fiber at all.
A 2015 American study also found that fiber can be beneficial, with the study’s results suggesting that prostate cancer patients can improve their chances of survival by following a Mediterranean-style diet full of fruit, vegetables and fiber.
And a 2015 Chinese study found that eating white vegetables such as potatoes, asparagus, chard, celery, cauliflower, endive and leek, was associated with a 33% reduction in the risk of developing stomach cancer. The same study also found that eating fruit helped to reduce the risk by 7%.
Enjoying a daily coffee could help as well, with numerous studies showing the health benefits of drinking your morning cup of joe. A 2015 study of 1000 colon cancer patients found that coffee lovers who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were 42% less likely to have their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and 34% less likely to die from cancer or any other cause. A 2015 Swedish study also found similar results, with breast cancer patients who drank between two and five cups of coffee per day half as likely to experience a return of the disease compared to those who drank no coffee or less than two cups.
Good fats found in foods such as oily fish could also be beneficial, with a review of 26 previous studies covering more than 800,000 participants finding that eating a portion of oily fish such as tuna, salmon, or sardines one to two times a week can reduce the risk of breast cancer. And a 2013 study involving 4,577 prostate cancer patients found that those who changed their diet to include more good fats — the type found in foods such as vegetables, nuts and olive oil — had a better survival rate than those whose diets remained unchanged.
And for what you should try to avoid, well sugar seems to play a part in many health problems, including cancer, with a study published only last month finding that high levels of sugar, typical in a modern Western diet, could be associated with increasing the risk and spread of breast cancer. -AFP/Relaxnews