Looking for a way to prevent cancer? It may be as simple as changing your diet. A plant-based diet is shown to significantly reduce your chances of getting cancer as well as improving recovery if you already have cancer. While both a vegetarian diet and vegan diet have been shown to lower cancer incidences, a vegan diet boosts cancer prevention even more. In addition, vegans have lower incidences of diabetes, hypertension and obesity. If you aren’t quite ready to stop eating animal products, you can still make significant improvements to your health by increasing the amount of plants you eat. Neal Barnard MD, founder and president of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) shares tips on how easy it is to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle to help fight cancer and lead a healthier life. Here are two of our favorites.
Good Nutrition for Cancer Prevention
Some of the best foods you can eat for cancer prevention are vegetables of the cruciferous family. Within 48 hours of eating broccoli, your liver is making more of the enzymes that remove cancer-causing chemicals from your body.Other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and bok choy – giving you plenty of options to add these superhero vegetables to your diet every day. Some ideas to get you started include adding kale to your smoothies, shredding cabbage to toss in your salad, making mashed cauliflower as a mashed potato substitute and lightly sautéing bok choy for a delicious side dish.
Eat the Rainbow
When you reach into the fridge to make your next meal, be sure to include a rainbow of colors on your plate. Those beautiful colors you see on eggplants, blueberries, tomatoes, yellow peppers and other vegetables and fruits come from unique phytonutrients or plant compounds. And those plant compounds are your special weapons to fight against cancer and other diseases. Since each plant compound is different depending on the color it produces, it’s essential to include all of the colors of the rainbow in your diet to increase your disease-fighting capabilities. The next time you are in the produce section or your local farmer’s market, shop for a colorful rainbow of vegetables and fruits. Then aim to vary every meal with the different colors. Not only will you increase boost cancer-fighting enzymes, you’ll also create beautiful dishes that please the eye, another important part of a satisfying diet.
The Cancer Project
For more information on the ways a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer, visit the PCRM’s website to learn more about The Cancer Projectwhich explores the link between nutrition and cancer.