Lower Your Cancer Risk.

Lower Your Cancer Risk

Use Food As Medicine

According to Anand P. et al. (2008) ‘Only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle.’

So what can you do to lower your cancer risk? Nutrition plays an important part not only in the prevention of cancer, but also in its treatment. Inadequate or poor nutrition provides a favourable environment for cancer to grow and develop.

By consuming nutrient dense foods and changing the body’s environment, you deprive cancer of the nutrients it strives on. Thus, good nutrition supports the immune system, starves cancer cells and provides micro and macronutrients.

Nutrition and physical activity are the two most important aspects that can be modified to prevent cancers occurrence.

A healthy diet does not guarantee a life free from cancer. Other risk factors such as genetics, spirituality, and lifestyle are involved in cancer development. Following these factors you can lower your cancer risk. The following recommendations can help reduce the risk.

Eat a well-balanced diet. (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2010) Whenever possible select food that is locally grown free of hormones, pesticides, herbicides and antibiotic residues.

Eating food grown without pesticides may protect against unhealthy cell changes associated with pesticide use in animal studies. When selecting food, select quality, balance, moderation and variation.

Select the food of highest quality, all natural, biologically grown, fresh, unprocessed, non-irradiated, and without synthetic chemicals. It is also beneficial to avoid frying, broiling, and microwave use.

Consider The Following Dietary Suggestions

Things To Avoid:

  • Limit sweet foods and drinks as sugar increase the release of insulin and suppress the immune system.
  • Avoid fried, greasy, creamy or rich or spicy, refined foods. (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2010) junk foods (ACNT, 2010).
  • Avoid Trans fatty acids (Trans fats) that are found in foods that are made with or cooked in partially hydrogenated fat. Hydrogenation is the changing of a liquid vegetable oil into a solid. Some crackers, potato chips, baked goods, deep-fried fast foods and margarines contain trans fats. Swap all Trans fats for healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, raw butter, and coconut oil.
  • Avoid xenooesterogens (ACNT, 2010).
  • Avoid processed meats. This includes items such as bacon, ham, salami, sausages, frankfurts. Processed meats are high in salt and fat they also contain additives and preservatives (Cancer Council, 2016) and nitrates.
  • Limit the consumption of red meats. Eating red meat exposes us to dietary carcinogens such as N-nitroso compounds and heterocyclic amines (WCRF, 2007). Choose leaner cuts of meat and remove visible fat.
  • Avoid alcohol as this increase the number of free radicals (ACNT, 2010).
  • Stop smoking. (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2010). Cigarettes, according to The Cancer Research United Kingdom (2014), contain many different chemicals that damage cells’ DNA. They further confirm that ‘smoking is by far the biggest preventable cause of cancer.’ Therefore, if you are still smoking, consider stopping for your health and the health of the people around you.
  • Reduce exposure to environmental carcinogens, toxic substances, and radiation (PSR, 2016).

Life Style

  • Choose the healthiest lifestyle options possible, to empower yourself and reduce your risks.

You can read the FULL version of this article in our quarterly eZine, ‘Holistic Living Magazine,’ look for Edition 4 on this archive page.  There’s many more articles about cancer waiting for you too!


Irene Vervliet – Naturopathic Doctor

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