Harvard Medical School publishes a monthly "Harvard Men's Health Watch". In the October 2016 issue the connection between cancer and diet was explored. The following is a summary of their findings.
Research has shown that certain foods and nutrients can not only prevent cancer, but can contribute to the formation of certain types of cancer.
Only 30% of a person's lifetime risk of getting cancer results from uncontrollable factors (genetics & environment) while the remaining 70% can be controllable with diet and other mind/body/spirit influences.
Dr. Edward Giovannucci of Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health states: "It's not 100% certain that consuming more or less of certain foods or nutrients will guarantee cancer protection, but science has found that certain dietary habits tend to have a greater influence."
The connection between processed meats and cancer is consistent. Eating 2 ounces of processed meat daily is associated with a 20% increase in colorectal cancer.
Antioxidants are important for cancer prevention. Eat a diet rich in antioxidant foods: focus on bright colors, such as dark green, orange, purple, and red fruits and vegetables; i.e. spinach, carrots, tomatoes.
Carbohydrates, according to article, have a "Jekyll-and-Hyde" role with cancer. Some are good, others bad, according to the source. Foods with high glycemic index (GI) are associated with an 88% greater risk for prostate cancer. Eating lower GI foods, like beans, lentils, and peas, was linked with a 32% lower risk of both prostate and colorectal cancers.
According to Dr. Giovannucci, "Your best bet is to keep daily calcium intake to 500 - 1000 mg per day, either from food or supplements." Why? Higher calcium intake can lower risk of colorectal cancer, but can also increase risk for prostate cancer.
Modifying one's weight and keeping it under control offers cancer protection. Extra body fat produces hormones and inflammatory proteins that can promote tumor cell growth.
Whole grains play a role in cancer prevention. Folks who ate 70 grams whole grains per day (about 4 servings) had a 23% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 20% lower risk of cancer death. "Whole grains contain many nutrients, including fiber, magnesium, and other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, that help to lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation and cell damage," says Dr. Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public health.
Meditation may ease anxiety from active surveillance, an option for men with low-risk prostate cancer that involves regular exams and blood tests to monitor their condition.
Four lifestyle areas associated with health: smoking, drinking, weight, and exercise. Moderate amounts of alcohol means no more than two servings per day. Researchers found that men who did not smoke, who drank moderately, had a body mass index of 18.5 to 27.5, and engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly could avert or delay 67% of cancer deaths and prevent 63% of new malignancies each year. "In terms of specific cancers, men could reduce incidence of bladder cancer by 62%, prostate cancer by 40%, and kidney cancer by 35%.
TO SUMMARIZE, WHAT WE PUT ON OUR FORKS MATTERS!!