Cancer Prevention

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I have a strong family history of cancer. I am wondering what I can do to offset my chances of developing it myself.

A. A diet rich in antioxidants will reduce free radical damage within the cells. Antioxidants are substances which can limit the damage potential of free radicals (which attack and oxidise molecules), and therefore play a protective role in the body.

This means a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds which are rich in vitamins A,C, E and selenium. These fruits and vegetables should be organic to avoid pesticides, some of which are linked to cancer growth.

Specifically – apples due to their caffeic acid, quercetin and ellagic acid. Figs may shrink tumors by an average of 39% due to their benzaldehyde content. Red grapes due to their resveratrol and egallic acid content may prevent many forms of cancer.

The cabbage family prevent many forms of cancer primarily due to the isothiocyanates content.

Beetroot 200g grated and ingested daily may inhibit/treat some forms of cancer. Make some big salads or coleslaw with a salad dressing of olive oil and garlic.

Red wine, tomatoes, strawberries, shitake mushrooms… there are many more as research develops. Hence the recommendation of 7 vegetables and fruits per day in a variety of colours.

Green tea should be consumed every day – many studies show a wide range of beneficial effects in the prevention of cancer.

Supplementation of fish oils inhibit the development and progression of a number of types of human cancer. To be proactive I would recommend fish oil and an antioxidant supplement daily.