Here's how a good diet can help prevent cancer (although it will never cure it)

Cancer is a degenerative disease that is closely linked to our lifestyle habits. That is why a good diet can help prevent its development, although it will never cure it or completely eliminate the risk of suffering it, but rather, reduce the chances of the disease being present.

What we eat as a weapon to prevent cancer

According to the World Health Organization between 30 and 50% of cancer cases are preventable and to a large extent this depends on our habits, which include our diet.

Therefore, below we show you what a good diet consists of that can help prevent cancer if it is accompanied by regular physical activity, adequate rest, and the absence of toxic habits.

Foods linked to lower incidence of cancer

Certain ingredients in our dishes can help reduce the risk of cancer, such as those mentioned below:

  • Fruits and vegetables: their consumption has been associated in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with a lower incidence of different types of cancer. Therefore, a minimum consumption of five servings a day is suggested and ideally, reach 10 servings of these foods each day. Its intake not only offers fiber and various vitamins but also a variety of antioxidant compounds that could be of help in the prevention and control of cancer tumors.


  • Whole grains or whole grains: due to their richness in fiber, resistant starch and phytoestrogens, whole grains and their derivatives, that is, whole grains replacing refined ones can help prevent all types of cancer, especially those that affect the digestive system such as stomach, esophagus and colon cancer or hormonal ones such as breast cancer according to research from the University of Minnesota.
  • Fish: fish is a source of quality protein and its consumption displaces the intake of red meat that could be linked to a higher incidence of cancer. For this reason, the intake of fish was associated with a lower risk of cancer, especially those of the digestive tract, as Italian scientists point out. These results coincide with a study published in 2003 that indicates that fish, perhaps due to its richness in essential fatty acids, could be helpful in preventing prostate cancer.
  • Legumes: for their richness in fiber as well as for being a source of resistant starch and antioxidants among other compounds such as phytoestrogens, a higher consumption of legumes was linked to a lower risk of cancer in an investigation from the British Journal of Nutrition. In addition, a study by Nutrition and Cancer confirms that a greater presence of ingredients of plant origin in the diet, including legumes, is associated with a lower incidence of cancer.

The ingredients that you should avoid in your dishes

Just as there are foods linked to a lower incidence of cancer, here are some ingredients that it is advisable to avoid in the usual dishes because they have been associated with a greater presence of the disease:

  • Processed meats: as mentioned by the WHO a few years ago and confirmed by various studies, such as in this case one published in Plos Medicine, processed meats such as sausages, mortadelas, frozen hamburgers or other cold cuts and sausages are linked to a higher incidence of cancer, especially colon and lung cancer. These ingredients may have substances with mutagenic and carcinogenic power and various additives because they are ultra-processed foods and of low nutritional quality.
  • Alcohol: unlike what we have long thought, alcohol in small amounts is not beneficial, there is no safe dose and its consumption as a regular or occasional drink or, for daily cooking, is not recommended, as research indicates published in 2001, its consumption is associated with a higher incidence of different types of cancer, especially the esophagus, pharynx and larynx.


  • Sugar: among the many consequences of the habitual and high consumption of sugars is cancer, as a study concluded a couple of years ago. In this sense, we must avoid not only table sugar but also all kinds of added sugars, easily assimilated or free sugars, among which are honey, syrups, syrups and the like.

These are the foods that should make up a good diet that helps prevent cancer and those that should not be present on a regular basis in our kitchen and our table if we want to get away from this increasingly frequent disease.

Diet does not cure, but it can prevent and improve cancer treatment

As we have said, the diet does not cure cancer and does not reduce the chances of suffering from the disease to 0%, but as we have shown, it can be helpful to prevent its development if we insert it into a healthy lifestyle.

Also, although diet does not cure cancer, it can be a good complement to traditional treatment, as indicated by research published in the scientific journal CA.

An adequate diet could increase the effectiveness of some treatments such as chemotherapy and also contribute to maintaining or restoring the nutritional status of the affected person.

So, healthy eating should always be a priority, not only to prevent but also to control and take care of the body before, during and after the disease.

Image | Unsplash

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Topics
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Cancer
  • disease
  • subsistence allowance
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