One out of every six deaths are now linked to cancer, and older adults are at an increased risk. The good news is that more people diagnosed with cancer are living longer, thanks in part to new treatments, groundbreaking initiatives and commitments to end cancer. That’s part of the reason that events like World Cancer Day is being held on February the 4th.
Diet and nutrition are among the risk factors linked to developing cancer, meaning one way that seniors can lower their risk for cancer is through their diet. This World Cancer Day consider making some simple changes to decrease the likelihood of developing cancer.
Foods to Enjoy
Anthocyanins give berries their rich color, and they also contain needed vitamins and antioxidants which help protect the body from cell damage that can lead to certain types of cancers. Mix berries into a diet to unleash their benefits and aim for two servings a day.
Cinnamon is one of the most common spices found in the pantry, and it’s thought to help prevent any cancer cells from duplicating and spreading. Add cinnamon to coffee, toast and all kinds of dishes that are tasty and nutritious.
Carrots are a great tasting, non-starchy vegetable that are also rich in beta-carotene, carotenoids and other phytochemicals. These have been shown to decrease the risk for prostate, stomach and lung cancer.
Loaded with vitamin C and essential phytochemicals, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons have been linked to reducing the chances of breast and esophageal cancer. With so many great citrus fruit choices out there, anyone should be able to incorporate citrus into their nutrition plan.
Broccoli is loaded with nutrients including carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K and folates that have been shown to fight cancer development. Another chemical, sulforaphane give broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale and radishes their distinctive taste and smell are thought to specifically target tumors.
Foods to Limit
Red meat is thought to increase the chances of developing colorectal or prostate cancers that attack aging people. There is also an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, so limit servings to no more than twice a week.
While alcohol abuse is likely to lead to cirrhosis and other liver conditions, even moderate alcohol consumption can contribute to cancer. Acetaldehyde, a chemical that is formed as the body attempts to break down and digest alcohol, can attack a person’s DNA leading to cancer.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to limit consumption to no more than one or two drinks per day.
As scientific research began to emerge more about potential causes for cancer, artificial sweeteners were found to increase the likelihood of cancers developing. While research on them is not completely conclusive, moderation is a good idea.
Excess body fat increases the chances of someone getting cancer, and high-sugar foods are one of the primary reasons people put on too much weight. To control your weight, try to limit sodas, sugary snacks, and other foods high in glucose.
Pre-Packaged and Processed Foods
Pre-packaged and processed foods have higher levels of sugar. salt and fat that freshly made food. All of these have been shown to increase chances for cancer.
As people age, a healthy diet is needed to ward off cancer and live longer. For World Cancer Day this year consider committing to a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle that can help prevent cancer from developing. In order to further reduce the chances of cancer developing, people should work with their medical providers to devise a nutrition and wellness plan best suited for their needs.