Going Green for Cancer Prevention

In celebration of Saint Patrick’s day, you’re probably thinking green. We talk about greens a lot here because eating plenty of those green vegetables is a big part of a cancer-preventive pattern of eating.

Green foodsResearch shows that consuming non-starchy vegetables, like dark-colored leafy greens, may protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach while providing fiber and phytochemicals.

The phytochemical beta-carotene, for example, is found in dark leafy greens. As a rule of thumb, the greater the intensity of the color of these vegetables, the more beta-carotene it contains.

Most of you are familiar with “leafy greens” like spinach and deep green colored lettuces. And of course, there are green apples, broccoli and green tea. But if you want to fill your plate with greens today, there are plenty of others you can choose. Many of which researchers are studying for how they play a role in lowering cancer risk. Here’s a few other options.

  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Chard
  • Mustard greens
  • Mesclun (a salad mix)

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Exercise for weight loss may lower inflammation, breast cancer risk

For postmenopausal women who are overweight, it makes sense that losing weight could reduce their risk of breast cancer because being overweight or obese increases the risk. But when overweight women are working to shed pounds, is it primarily exercise or cutting calories that makes more of a difference in lowering the risk?canstockphoto16118782

Both, suggests a new study, with weight loss fueled primarily by exercise possibly leading to even more benefits – at least in the short-term for certain markers of breast cancer.

The study is one of the few randomized controlled trials that focuses on teasing apart the effect of diet versus exercise on breast cancer risk. It was published this week in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Previous research has shown that too much fat tissue can place the body in a constant state of inflammation. That leads to high levels of hormones and other proteins that can spur cancer cell growth. How exercise alone can affect inflammation and hormones is one of the big questions under study. Continue reading

Study, Flavonoid-filled Fruits and Veggies May Help You Avoid Weight Gain

You probably know fruits and vegetables are packed with all kinds of nutrients, and compounds linked to good health. One of the biggest groups of these compounds or phytochemicals are the flavonoids, and we talk about them a lot here because they’re studied for their role in lowering cancer risk.

Now comes a large and long-term study that suggests eating plenty of berries, pears, peppers and other fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids may help you avoid weight gain as you age. That can help prevent overweight or obesity, and that’s a big deal for cancer prevention.

FlavonoidsThe study, published in BMJ, included almost 124,000 people who were part of three population studies that were looking at habits and health. Back in 1986, participants had reported what they were eating, along with other lifestyle habits, such as smoking and activity. They also reported how much they weighed. Every couple years every again filled out questionnaire about their eating habits, using a detailed list of foods, along with weight and illness. Continue reading