A significant number of people get a cancer diagnosis every year in India. Thousands of people across the globe lose their lives every day to this incurable cancer. Cancer is not a single disease. Hundreds of different types of cancer are there, and no two cancers are identical. Although cancer is not curable, we can reduce cancer risk by eating plant-based foods. Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains are high in nutrition. Plants produce many phytochemicals, fiber, minerals, and vitamins with anti-cancer effects. By eating lots of plant-based foods, you can protect healthy cells from damage and thus reduce cancer risk.
In this blog, we will discuss plant-based foods and how a plant-based food can help fight cancer.
What is plant-based food?
Plant-based food includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, oil, seeds, beans and legumes. One can include minimally processed foods of plant origin in it. In plant-based food, your diet should not be full vegan. It is simply that the majority of your diet comes from these foods.
Why is a plant-based diet important?
Plant-based foods contain fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These fibers help remove excess hormones that may cause certain types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer. Fiber also helps remove waste from the digestive system, which plays a vital role in preventing colorectal cancer. It also helps maintain a healthy weight, which can also help reduce the risk for 12 types of cancer.
Eating 200 gm of wholegrain foods each day may decrease your colorectal cancer risk by 21%. Plant-based food (fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts and seeds, legumes, and vegetable oils) is the main fiber source and other bioactive compounds in the diet. Plant bioactive, including fiber, sulfur compounds, carotenoids, and polyphenols, present in foods such as cruciferous and allium vegetables, tomatoes, green tea, and whole grain cereal, have well-known anticarcinogenic properties. Therefore, plant-based foods are likely to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects against the development of cancer. In contrast, an unhealthy diet is an established risk factor for several cancer types.
How does fiber help in cancer?
Plant-based food like vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts and seeds, legumes, and vegetable oils are the main source of fiber. Plant bioactive, including fiber, sulfur compounds, carotenoids, and polyphenols, have well-known anticarcinogenic properties. These bioactives are present in foods such as cruciferous and allium vegetables, tomatoes, green tea, and whole grain cereal; therefore, plant-based foods are likely to exert anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects against the development of cancer. Thus, an unhealthy diet is an established risk factor for several cancer types; eating plant-based foods to achieve a healthful diet has reduced cancer risk.
As plant-based foods are rich in fiber, it can make you feel full with smaller portions. If overweight or obese, limit consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages to promote weight loss. When it comes to high-calorie foods and drinks, such as fast food, fried food or regular soda, eat these in moderation, whether you are overweight or not. They are high in calories, typically low in filling power and nutrients, and may have harmful inflammatory properties.
How do Phytochemicals help in cancer?
Phytochemicals, or, in other words, phytonutrients. They are the potentially beneficial compounds found in plant foods. They may help stop chronic diseases, including cancer. Phytochemicals are present in vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. The type and number of phytochemicals found in different plants vary. Phytochemicals help strengthen the immune system, reducing inflammation, preventing DNA damage and helping DNA repair, slowing cancer cell growth, regulating hormones, and preventing damaged cells from reproducing.
How do Antioxidants help in cancer?
Whole grains vegetables and minerals are rich in anti-cancer hormonal and antioxidant compounds. These foods are also rich in fiber, making you feel full with smaller portions. If overweight or obese, limit consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages to promote weight loss. When it comes to high-calorie foods and drinks, such as fast food, fried food or regular soda, eat these in moderation, whether you are overweight or not. They are high in calories, typically low in filling power and nutrients, and may have harmful inflammatory properties.
Whole grains are rich in anti-cancer hormonal and antioxidant compounds. Experts recommend eating at least three 1-ounce servings of whole grains per day. One serving equates to ½ cup cooked whole-grain pasta, brown rice or oatmeal, or one slice of 100 percent whole-grain bread.
Plant-based nutrition has been shown to protect against the 15 leading causes of death in the world, including many cancers. It also provides benefits as a disease modifying tool to improve the management and treatment of various types of cancer and other chronic diseases. Effects of plant-based nutrition on breast, prostate, colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers have been the most extensively studied, and thus have the most published supporting evidence to date.
Whole foods plant-based diets have shown to significantly protect against these cancers, as well as additional cancers and other chronic disease states. Nutritional interventions in the prevention of various cancers offer a significant benefit to currently used medical treatments, and should be employed more often as an adjunct to first-line medical treatments. Although the effects of diet are becoming more famous and the role of diet and lifestyle factors in health and disease is gaining more attention and emphasis, the benefits or detriments are still underestimated and undervalued.