Friday, 21 November 2008

Foods That Fight Cancer- Part 1

Are you afraid of getting hit by lightning? Getting attacked by a shark? Of flying? Many people are.

However, maybe this will put things into perspective:

1 person in 280 000 000 will die in a shark attack.

1 person in 3 000 000 will die in a plane crash

1 person in 350 000 will get hit by lighting

1 person in 7000 will die in a car crash

1 person in 3 will get cancer.

Cancer is a real threat.

In North American right now, 1 in 3 of us will get cancer before the age of 75 and 1 in 4 will die from complications related to cancer. Currently, 10 million North Americans are living with cancer and 600 000 of them will die this year.

This is how the book I’m reading, Foods that Fight Cancer, begins... quite the reality check. The authors point out that most of us attribute cancer to genetics (actually only the cause of 15% of cancer cases), pollution (really only the cause of 2% of all cases) and UV-ray exposure (only 2% of all cases).

In fact, 70% of cancers are related to modifiable lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, and diet. Diet itself is responsible for 30% of all cancers. Actually, 90% of cancers affecting the gastrointestinal system (esophagus, stomach, colon) are diet-related.

For example, people that eat the least amount of fruits and vegetables are about 2 times more likely to develop certain kinds of cancers than those that eat more.

Obesity is responsible for 35% of deaths linked to colon cancer in men and 60% of deaths caused by endometrial cancer in women.

The authors plead with the readers to stop thinking of food as only fuel but to adopt a more Eastern mentality and think of it as disease prevention.

What will follow over the next few days is what the authors of this beautifully designed and informative book, Drs Richard BĂ©liveau and Denis Gingras, list as key foods for cancer prevention. They remind the reader that no one food can cure or prevent cancer, but as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, can make the difference between a diagnosis of cancer or a clean bill of health.

While the vitamins, minerals and fibres in fruits and vegetables have been credited in the past for their ability to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, we now know that this benefit is due to their phytochemical content. Phytochemicals are compounds that allow plants to protect themselves from predators and allow them to survive in challenging environments. These phytochemicals do the same for us- they are our defense against cancer-causing agents.

Stay tuned to learn what foods have the most phytochemicals and can help you fight cancer.

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