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Reduce Your Risk of Cancer through Healthy Eating

Eating a variety foods, including plenty of fruits, can help lower your risk for cancer.
Eating a variety foods, including plenty of fruits, can help lower your risk for cancer.

Can diet make a difference? The links between cancer prevention and specific dietary patterns are still pretty murky. Even people with extensive health knowledge, who seem to get everything right, get cancer. We know there are some things we can’t control. We can’t change risk factors like our family history. But it’s clear that eating well is part of doing everything you can to tip the odds in your favor—and the best benefit is knowing that you’re doing what you can to promote overall good health.

A well-nourished, well-rested body is the best nutritional strategy for keeping your immune system strong. Eat a variety of foods that provide a natural abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, particularly those rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene and selenium, antioxidants that, according to some studies, may help prevent disease, including some cancers. These healthy recipes will get you started—they all contain at least 15% daily value of at least one of those vitamins or minerals.

News You Can Use

The American Institute for Cancer Research just published its most up-to-date food, nutrition and activity recommendations to help prevent cancer. Here are 8 quick tips from the report:

  • Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in  added sugar, or low in fiber, or high in fat).
  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, such as beans.
  • Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  • If alcohol is consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  • Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.

[source: American Institute of Cancer Research]

See the next page for healthy recipe ideas.