Last week someone asked me if cancer rates were increasing? I said yes, in the U.S. heart disease typically tops the list as the #1 cause of death, however, in 2018 cancer took the top spot in the United States. February is National Cancer Prevention Month. We have all heard how nutrition and cancer are linked but is there really a cancer prevention diet? Recent studies suggest yes, there are certain foods that prevent cancer. They are called fruits and vegetables.
The Health Survey for England study surveyed over 65,000 adults, age 35 and over, on their eating habits to determine if there was a benefit to eating more fruits and vegetables and lowering the risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. The answer was a resounding “yes” to both.
More Fruits and Vegetables, Less Risk of Cancer Death
- Participants in the study that ate less than 1 serving of fruits and vegetables a day had no decreased risk of cancer death
- Those that ate 1 to less than 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day decreased the risk of cancer death by 13%
- Eating 3 to less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day decreased the risk of cancer death by 20%
- Eating 5 to less than 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day decreased the risk of cancer death by 29%
Vegetables are Anticancer Foods
Eating more vegetables significantly lowered the risk of death from cancer. However, increasing the number of fruits did not show the same benefit.
- Eating less than 1 serving of vegetables a day did not decrease the risk of cancer death
- 1 to less than 2 vegetables a day decreased risk of cancer death by 15%
- 2 to less than 3 vegetables a day decreased risk of cancer death by 24%
The best cancer-fighting foods are fruits and vegetables. Assess your diet and determine if you could benefit from increasing the amount of daily vegetable intake. I tell all clients, by adding in more vegetables you will reduce your cravings for junk food. More vegetables and less junk food is a great strategy to support a cancer prevention lifestyle.
Dee Grace, PhD
Bedside Manners is a health education company based in Atlanta, GA that provides help for cancer patients across the U.S. Our #1 goal is to help you significantly improve your survival outcomes. Download a copy of The Cancer Detox with a 3-day cancer-fighting foods menu, plus recipes, and 7 strategies to prevent cancer.
Reference: Oyebode O, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2014;68:856-862