Food and Cancer: What’s The Connection?

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, once said ‘Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food’. Clearly, what he meant was that food played a major role in disease prevention and health promotion.

The rising levels of cancers across all ages in the recent decades have kept scientists and researchers busy as they try to determine the roles of diet, lifestyle and environmental factors in causing cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, a large international study involving 500,000 people is currently ongoing in 10 European countries to study the connection between diet and cancer, especially the rarer types of cancer that are now beginning to emerge. Yet, with over 200 types of cancer and thousands of food choices, this is indeed a Herculean task.

In the recent years, much has already been known about diet and cancer, such as:

1)     Being overweight or obese puts you at higher risk of cancers of the bowel, pancrease,  oesophagus , kidney, gallbladder, breast and uterine

2)     Alcohol increases your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver cancer, breast cancer and bowel

There is also research to suggest that certain foods and drinks can increase or decrease your risk of cancer. Here are some recommendations:

Eat more:

  • Fruits, vegetables, grains
  • Raw vegetables
  • Yoghurt, tempe
  • Tofu and soya-based food
  • Fish especially oily fish such as catfish, mackerel, salmon

Eat less:

  • Red meats
  • Processed foods: sausages, snacks, canned food
  • Barbequed foods
  • Pickled and salted foods
  • High-sugar, high-fat foods

Don’t miss next month’s topic on “The Unholy Trinity: Love, Sex and Cancer”

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