My family has been dealing with the Big C for the last five years: My dad has had four different cancers in this time. Cancer is a sinister illness involving genetic changes that cause abnormal cells to grow out of control, clog function of vital organs and tissues, and lead to poor quality of life. Cancer and traditional therapies, while important for destroying cancer and improving longevity, cause terrible symptoms and side effects. In this case, the best medicine is prevention.
Some cancers are genetic. Exposure to environmental factors, pollution, or excess sunshine can cause cancer. Even the foods we eat and not being active can cause cancer. So what do we do? Here’s your nutrition Rx: Eat your fruits and veggies! Likely the most important part of a healthful diet, the CDC reports that only 14% of adults and 9.5% of adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables. These, in addition to nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains, contain fiber, water, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that preserve life and prevent cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2.5 cups of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Focus on vibrantly colored fruits and veggies and those high in fiber, such as pears, because these combat cancer development. On the other hand, skip processed and fatty red meats, saturated fat, and sugary snacks/beverages. In a nutshell, move more, drink more water, ditch the processed junk, and choose the freshest, least processed foods. Time to fill your prescription!