Whilst non-dietary factors (e.g. viruses) are thought to account for two-thirds of cancer cases, up to 4 in 10 can be prevented through lifestyle changes the UK NHS (National Health Services) recommends the following to reduce cancer risk:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Try to consume a diet containing:
- at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods: choose wholegrain foods where possible, as these contain more fibre
- some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
- some milk and dairy foods
- just a small amount of foods and drinks high in fat or sugars, such as cakes, crisps and biscuits
- maintain a healthy weight
- stay physically active
- drink less alcohol [NO ALCOHOL for Muslims!]
- stop smoking
- protect your skin from sun damage
- know your body
Nutritional Links With Cancer
- Cervical cancer is thought to be linked with smoking and low vitamins B & C levels. Smoking further depletes the body’s reserves of B vitamins. Alcohol can destroy B vitamins such as thiamine and folate.
- Diets high in fruit and vegetables are protective against many forms of cancer.
- Smoking is not only associated with lung cancer, but also cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, bladder and cervix.
- Smoking and alcohol cause vitamin C depletion, association with oesophagus and larynx cancers. Alcohol obstructs beta carotene absorption. This has been linked with cancer of the larynx, lung, stomach, large bowel and bladder.
- Dietary fibre helps protect against cancers of the colon, prostate, uterus, breast and rectum.
- Nitrates and nitrites used in salty foods and cured meats form nitrosamines, linked to stomach cancer. A good intake of vitamin C may inhibit the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.
- Cancers of the gall bladder breast and womb is more common in overweight people.
- High fat consumption contributes to colon and rectum cancer.