1. Health & Lifestyle

World Cancer Day 2019: Avoid these 9 Cancer-causing Foods

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on 4th February to increase awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, early detection and treatment. A recent study had concluded that Indian women are at the highest risk of cervical cancer in the world and this makes awareness about this disease even more important and the need of the hour.

The theme of World Cancer Day 2019 is - 'I am and I will'. The estimated number of fatalities due to cancer last year was 9.5 million, which amounts to a huge 26,000 deaths per day. And the number is expected to go up as environmental stress increases, air quality worsens and lifestyles and eating habits too.

Here it is important to ensure that your daily routine and practices do not invite any disease to the body. One such practice would be to stay attentive and not ignore the early signs and symptoms of a serious health issue.

Foods that a person includes in his or her diet, significantly shows its affect in many aspects to their overall health, including the risk of developing chronic diseases like blood pressure, diabetes,  heart disease or cancer. Cancer is a disease that involves the process of irregular cell growth in the body with the potential to occupy some particular part of the body and do not spread to other parts. Formation of numerous cancers has been immensely influenced by the diet a person follows.

Foods that can increase the risk of Cancer

1. Highly salted foods

If you regularly consume highly salted foods like salted fish, cured meats, etc then it can lead to stomach cancer by damaging your stomach lining and causing irritation or swelling. So always choose fresh and local produce.

2. Hydrogenated fats

Hydrogenated fats are also very harmful as they change the shape of cellular membranes and support the growth of abnormal cells. These fats must be replaced with a range of healthier fats & oils such as coconut oil, desi ghee, mustard oil, groundnut oil but in moderation.

3. Processed & smoked meats

Processed meats like bacon, ham, salami and sausages can increase the risk of bowel, stomach and pancreatic cancer. On the other hand, when smoked foods are made at high temperatures, the nitrates present in them change into the more dangerous nitrites.

4. Charred meats

The red meat or processed meats when grilled at a high temperature and charred tend to produce DNA detrimental heterocyclic amines as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Hence you must cook them on a medium heat, tossing at intervals. Moreover, baking at moderate temperature and broiling are safe methods of cooking.

5. Microwavable popcorn

A packet of microwavable popcorns is lined with PFOA or perfluoro-octanoic acid, which is a likely carcinogen. The corn kernels are genetically customized and the fumes released from the synthetic butter contain diacetyl & are poisonous to humans. So it’s better to make the popcorns in a traditional way.

6. Sodas

Sodas are a deadly mixture of harmful colors, preservatives laden with loads of sugar and hidden sugars. So you must avoid them and prefer nimboo pani or lemon water, which is good for your health - adding a little bit of sugar won’t be harmful. What is dangerous is the hidden sugar, which is added by the manufacturers in processed and packaged foods.

7. Artificial sweeteners

Several laboratory studies have shown a close link between the artificial sweeteners and cancer risk hence you must never think of switching to artificial sweeteners just to save some calories.

8. Canned foods

The coating of most cans has bisphenol A (BPA), which is known to add to cancer risk. Most of the plastic packaging also contains BPA. Of all the canned goods, tomatoes and products made of it are the worst as their acidity causes more BPA to percolate into the food.

9. Alcohol

Several studies have revealed the link between alcohol consumption and cancer however the exact mechanism is still not understood. It could be through endorsing weight gain. Hence it’s better not to get in the habit of drinking alcohol.

Now let’s talk about food and herbs that can actually help in fighting against this deadly disease.

Foods that can fight against cancer

1. Garlic

Garlic contains an active component known as allicin, which has been proven to destroy cancer cells. Studies shows consumption of Garlic has a lower risk of several types of cancer. It also reduces the risks of prostate, stomach as well as colorectal cancers. Add 2 to 5 grams of fresh garlic daily in your diet and take the advantages of its cancer preventing properties.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is a common kitchen ingredient which is widely used for its numerous health-promoting properties. An active ingredient present in turmeric known as curcumin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and even anti-cancer properties. In addition, the spice has been associated to slowing the growth and development of lungs, breast and prostate cancer cells. For the good results, include 3 teaspoons of ground turmeric daily in your diet.

3. Ginger

Cancer fighting properties found in ginger helps in the killing of ovarian cancer cells as well as reduced swelling in the colon. Ginger is undoubtedly a great herb which is used for various purposes. You can add a slice of ginger in your tea or can sprinkle some finely cut ginger in oatmeal bowl every morning.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is full of sulforaphane - a plant-base compound found in cruciferous vegetables with strong anti-cancer properties. Sulforaphane helps in reducing the number of breast cancer cells by 75 percent. Cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli is linked to lower the risk of colorectal and colon cancer. Add broccoli in few meals per week to get the benefit of its cancer-fighting properties.

5. Carrots

Eating carrots can perhaps reduce the growth of stomach cancer up to by 26 percent. It also lowers the odds of developing prostate cancer. Hence you can include carrots in your diet as a salad or snack for at least three to four days a week to prevent from the risk of cancer.

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