Cancer: The best diet to follow that protects against cancer – what is it?

Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumours which do not spread. Cancer Research UK said on their website: “By far the biggest risk factor for most cancers is simply getting older. More than three-quarters of all people diagnosed with cancer in the UK are over the age of 60. And this is because cancer is a disease of our genes, the bits of DNA code that hold the instructions for all of the microscopic machinery inside our cells. Over time, mistakes accumulate in this code and it’s these mistakes that can kick start a cell’s journey towards becoming cancerous.

To prevent cancer and reduce your risk, there are the obvious changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, protecting yourself from the sun, getting vaccinated, avoiding risky behaviours, and getting regular medical care.

A certain diet has also been proven to help stave off cancer and protect against heart disease.

Consuming a flavonoid-rich diet helps protect a person from developing cancers especially for smokers and heavy drinkers, according to new research from Edith Cowan University.

Having a diet that includes apples and tea can significantly reduce your risk. Researchers from ECU’s School of Medicinal and Health Sciences analysed data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort that assessed the diets of 53,048 Danes over 23 years.

The study found that people who habitually consumed moderate to high amounts of foods rich in flavonoids, compounds found in plant-based foods and drinks, were less likely to die from cancer or heart disease.

Lead researcher Doctor Nicola Bondonno said: “It’s important to consume a variety of different flavonoid compounds found in different plant based food and drink.

This is easily achievable through the diet: one cup of tea, one apple, one orange, 100g of blueberries, and 100g of broccoli would provide a wide range of flavonoid compounds and over 500mg of total flavonoids.

These findings are important to note that flavonoid consumption does not counteract all of the increased risk of death caused by smoking and high alcohol consumption.”

Apples contain anticancer properties that may also help prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and infections. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables protect the body from damaging free radicals and is like “rust-proofing your car” according to researcher Linda Keleman.

She added: “It’s been estimated that up to one-third of cancers are related to food we eat. That’s a lot of preventable cancers.”

In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, apples were reviewed and their relationship to human health.

The study noted that apples not only help prevent cancer, they also help with asthma, diabetes, lipid metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases. 

It is estimated that one-third of all cancer deaths could be prevented by improved diet, particularly increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Flavonoids are plant secondary metabolites and have the capability to regulate cell division and medicinal activities including anticancer properties.

Foods rich in flavonoids include apples, tea, citrus fruits and juices, berries, red wine, and legumes

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