Friday, October 30, 2009

Can Cancer Be Beat With Fruits and Veggies?

We all know how important making the right food choices are in reaching our fitness goals. But what if I told you that eating more fruits and vegetables in your daily routine might actually assist you in preventing and beating cancer? A 2006 US National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results survey revealed over 11 million Americans who are still living that have been diagnosed with cancer. Other statistics show that one in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, while one in four will eventually die from it. These are some pretty alarming numbers, but is cancer as much of a slippery slope we think it is? Is cancer really something we should just accept as a part of life and realize there is a good chance it may get us someday?

A really great article called "Fighting Cancer With Fruit" by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. The article explores some compelling evidence for the benefits of eating a fruit and vegetable rich diet, along with participating in six days of moderate physical activity in relation to fighting cancer. Dr. Servan-Schreiber sites this statistic in his article:
In one study, women who were treated for their cancer had a 50 percent reduction in relapse risk if they ate five vegetables and fruits per day and practiced 30 minutes of physical activity six days a week.

The doctor goes on to note a few other studies with supporting evidence with similar results. I highly recommend you all to take a glance at this great piece of journalism, you can read it here.

Of course this article peaked my interest quite a bit, so I decided to do some research of my own. I didn't have to look far for more evidence to support that lifestyle and nutrition play an important role in cancer prevention. On the American Cancer Society website I quickly was able to locate a publication called, well you wouldn't guess the name: Nutrition & Cancer! The article explores the strength of evidence, cancers affected, opportunities for cancer risk reduction, emerging trends and leaves us with this excellent bottom line:
Healthy eating habits and other factors could reduce cancer mortality in the United States by as much as 30%. Cancer risk can be reduced by adopting an overall dietary pattern that emphasizes plant foods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans) and helps to maintain a healthy weight; being physically active on a regular basis; and limiting alcohol consumption.

After seeing the first article, I did not have to look far for even more supporting evidence for these claims. Some questions that really arise to me are: Why is this not an emphasized practice by most medical doctors as at least a supplement to preventative examines, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments being used? Why does the impending gloom of dying of cancer and bodily disease hang over America's head when 75% of America's health care dollars are spent on ailments directly related to lifestyle choices? We will pay the consequences for our choices in life, no doubt about it. What we decide to do in our daily routine, for sport, recreation or even out of stupidity will always catch up with us. But why does it feel like we are constantly being told we are not in control?

No comments:

Post a Comment