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Cancer Prevention: Facts about Diet and Lifestyle

Did you know that for more than 10 types of cancer, nearly 70% cases are within your control and preventable? There are many factors such as a healthy diet and lifestyle that can eliminate or reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

While we have all heard about the importance of physical activities and nutritious diet for a long & healthy life, how does it relate to cancer prevention? According to AMRI Hospitals’ Oncologists, altering your routine to engage in an active and healthy lifestyle can effectively reduce cancer formation and progression. You don’t need to avoid your favourite dishes altogether but including nutritious food with some anti-carcinogens can work wonders.

Adding vitamin and mineral rich foods to your daily diet can play an integral role in providing anti-cancer micro-nutrients. Some of these micro-nutrients have zinc, calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B & C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K2 that are fully loaded with folates. While some risk factors for cancer are unavoidable but modifiable, some of the tips mentioned in this blog post can help you strive for healthier choices and better lifestyle management to mitigate the risks:

1. Strive to achieve a healthy weight

Being overweight opens the doors to several types of chronic diseases, including cancer. One of the most specific root causes is the person’s excess body weight that leads to circulating additional insulin or estrogen, hormones associated with stimulating cancer growth. With obesity, the risk of breast cancer increases significantly (particularly in post-menopausal women), along with the cancer of uterus, colon, rectum, pancreas, gall bladder, kidney, and others. In men, being overweight triggers fat cells through which enzymes convert testosterone to estrogen. So, maintaining body mass index (BMI) is necessary for everyone to reduce cancer risk.

2. Add a wide variety of food choices in the daily diet

When it comes to spreading awareness on cancer prevention, there is one most advised thumb rule: to fill your plate with three different colours of fruits & vegetables in a day. Whole fruits, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains have the higher capability to lower the cancer risk. Eating well is an integral part of improving the overall health, for that one can have a rich source of a variety of nutrients through whole grains and all types of fruits & vegetables.

3. Minimize daily fat intake

Consumption of refined carbs causes blood sugar levels to spike in the body and is associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. Substitute items like sugary soft drinks, white bread, processed food, unrefined whole grain, supplements with fresh juices, multigrain bread/brown rice, oatmeal, and rich-fibrous grains.

4. Take a break from smoking & tobacco products

Quitting smoking effectively saves you from lung, esophageal, oral, pancreatic, bladder, laryngeal, and cervical cancer. Even if you don’t engage in smoking but are constantly surrounded by people who smoke, get away! Similarly, consumption of tobacco in other forms is the leading cause of oral cancer, one that is entirely avoidable.

5. Limit the amount of Alcohol

Another risk factor for cancer is consumption of alcohol, something that can be easily modified or controlled. In many women, the risk of having breast cancer increases even after consuming a small amount of alcohol. For an adult, limiting one drink per day can lower the risk of some types of cancer. Meanwhile, a non-alcoholic person has fewer chances of developing cancer cells than a person indulging in heavy drinking habits.