Cancer and nutrition

Research studies have revealed the relationship between nutrition and cancer. The primary cause of many types of cancer, such as stomach cancer, cancers of the colon and rectum, liver cancer, pancreas cancer, kidney cancer and prostate cancer is nutrition.

Research studies reveal the relationship between nutrition and cancer. Nutrients may have positive or negative effects. Nutrients which simultaneously contain carcinogenic and cancer preventing ingredients may become highly hazardous depending on how they are cooked or stored. On the other hand, carcinogenic impact of some nutrients may become free of hazardous chemicals through appropriate cooking methods. Toxic chemicals which trigger the occurrence of cancer by damaging cells are known as oxidants. Some nutrients or leaves, flowers, fruits, bulbs and seeds of some plants used with foods as flavors, contain useful anti-oxidant chemicals, which protect cells against oxidants. They are known as antioxidants.

Caution! Cancer may be prevented by paying attention to nutrition and avoiding smoking, since nutrition is among the primary causes of many types of cancer, such as cancers of the stomach, colon and rectum, liver, pancreas, liver and prostate.

Nutrients Reducing Cancer Risk


• Onion, garlic
• Cabbage (white, red, black), cauliflower,leek, radish, turnip
• Carrot, tomatoes
• Spinach, lettuce, head lettuce, vine leaves,parsley, watercress, mint, rocket, chard,eatable weeds, beet
• Cucumber, green pepper, green bean,peas, horse (broad) bean, mushroom,aubergine, artichoke, courgettes (summer, winter), gumbo


• Orange, grapefruit, lemon
• Melon, watermelon
• Rosehips, blackberries, cornelian cherries
• Grapes, figs, granatum, mulberries
• Apples, pears, quince, plums
• Bananas, dates, loquat
• Cherries, sour cherries, strawberries

Dried fruits

• Roasted chickpeas, chestnuts, almonds,hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts


• Lentils, chickpeas, beans, common beans, peas, soybeans

Animal products

• Eggs, fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt,cheese, skimmed milk cheese, probiotic milk, yogurt and kefir


• Whole-wheat bread, whole meal bread, ryebread, oat bread, bulgur, coarsely ground wheat.

Nutrients Increasing Cancer Risk

• High-fat and dried mutton, beef, goat andchicken meats of age.
• Foods fried in oil
• Hamburgers
• Salted foods
• Meatballs made of plain and fatty meats
• Smoked foods
• Nitrite or nitrate added foods such as sausage, hot dog, salami, etc.
• Meats directly cooked on fire
• Butter, suet
• Vegetable or fruit-lacking nutrition

Guidelines in taking action to prevent cancer

• Maintain your ideal body weight.Avoid high-energy diets. If your bodyweight is excessive, you can control your weight by applying an appropriatenutrition regime and increasing yourphysical activity. For this, you should consult a nutrition expert and your physician.

• Follow a sufficient and balanced diet.Try to consume nutrients from every food group (meat, eggs and legumes,milk and dairy products, vegetables and fruits, fat group) in your meals.Diversify your nutrient selections.

• Reduce the daily fat content ofyour nutrition.Cook your food withvegetable oils and consume little oil. Reduce the interval betweenconsuming foods which include highlevels of fats, such as cream, clotted cream, mayonnaise, fried foods, etc.Do not consume margarines, chipsand fried cooks that contain transfatty acids.

• Maked olive oils one third of the oils you use to be olive oils, one another third being vegetable oils (sunflower seed oils, corn germ oil, soya oil or canola oil) and one third to be butter. 

• When cooking, add oil into the food before burning it.  Do not use suchmethods as frying  food in oil, do not or cooking  directly on fire or in the brazier. Foods cooked with by any of these methods may lose some of their nutritional elements and vitamins, while carcinogenic elements are formed. Instead, cook by boiling, roasting or steaming.

• Omega 3 fatty acids protect against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In order to make use of protective effects of these fatty acids, consume steamed or oven cooked fish 2 to -3 times a week. Try to consume foods containing this fatty acid, such as soya and canola oils, soybeans, and oilseeds like flaxseeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and purslane.

• Remember that full-fat milk, yogurt,cheese and meat contain high levelsof saturated fatty acids. High fat intake raises risk for some cancer types(lung, rectum, breast and prostatecancers). In order to reduce the intake of saturated fatty acid, choose semiskimmedmilk, yogurt, low-fat meatsand chicken.

• Consume low-fat red meat twicea week. Do not consume highfatchicken or turkey skin. Limitconsumption of high-fat processedmeat products with protectiveadditives, such as salami, hotdogs,sausages, pastrami, etc.

• Do not cook foods such as meat, chicken, fish, etc. by keeping them very close to the fire as in a brazier or smoking. Cooking meats in such a way causes loss of protein sand vitamins, while also leading to the formation of some carcinogenic substances. Instead, grill, poach or roast meat.

• Consume milk and dairyproducts rich in calcium, phosphorusand Group B vitamins, which are protective particularly against cancerof the colon. The consumption of 2-3glasses of semi-skimmed milk and yogurt is recommended daily.

• Kefir, probiotic milk and yogurtscontain beneficial bacteria.Consider drinking one glass of anticarcinogenic nutrients each day; theseprevent settlement of pathogenicmicroorganisms, while strengthening the immune system.

•  You must consume six or more servings of foods in the cereals group every day. Unrefined cereals (wheat, rye, whole grain flour, bulgur, corn, oat) and bread, macaroni and similar foods, whole-wheat rice, whole-¬wheat macaroni made of flours of these cereals, and legumes are rich invitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Whole-wheat free and refined cereals lose their vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibers and therefore, their nutritional value is decreased. Prefer whole-wheat bread, cereals and legumes whose nutritional value is higher, instead of refined white flour, white bread and rice.

• Legumes contain vegetable proteins, but their protein quality is lower than that found in meat and eggs. In order to increase their protein quality, consume legumes such as chickpeas with cereals.

• Cook legumes, macaroni and vegetables in their own boiling water to minimize loss of their nutritional elements and water-soluble vitamins.

• Soybeans are an important sourceof phytoestrogens. Soybeans contain anti-carcinogenic compounds.Phytoestrogens play a key roleparticularly in the control andprevention of hormone-dependentcancers. They also protect againstbreast cancer and testicular andprostate cancers. The incidence rate of these cancer types is low in countries where people consume high levels of soybeans. Consuming soybeans in your diet several times a week will lower the risk of occurance of these cancers.

• Increase the daily amount of vegetable and fruit consumption in your diet. Fruit and vegetable consumption is very important in terms of protection against cancer. Cancer risk is twice as prevalent in those who consume low quantities of fruit and vegetables compared to those who consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. The consumption of fruit particularly offers protection against cancers of the lung, esophagus, oral cavity, pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, bladder and larynx. Consume 2-4 servings of vegetables, salads and vegetables dishes and 3-4 servings of fruit each day.

• Make sure you include all types of vegetables (yellow, red, orange and green) and fruit in your diet. Frequently consume vegetables and fruits such as cauli flower, cabbage, celery, artichoke,leeks, onions, garlic, broccoli, radishes,spinach, watercress, carrots, tomatoes,citrus fruits, etc, particularly those containing anti-carcinogenic vitamins and phyto chemicals.

• Consume fruits and vegetables which in season.

• In order to increase dietary fiber (pomace) intake, be sure to include high-fiber content nutrients in your daily nutrition program, such as legumes, unrefined cereals, whole wheat bread, vegetables and fruits. Do not peel vegetables and fruits that can be eaten with their peel. Diet pomace protects against colon and rectum cancers and prevents constipation and elevation of levels of blood cholesterol and blood fats. Moreover, since glycemic index of fiber-rich nutrients is lower, they slowly raise blood sugar and are thus nutrients that reduce the risk of diabetes.

• Reduce your daily sugar consumption.Excessive consumption of sugar and sweets raises the risk of some cancer types. Choose fruit or milk based puddings in your dessert selection; fresh or dried fruits offer a healthy alternative to puddings. Reduce the frequency and serving amount for pastries, fried and sherbet-containing desserts. This will lower your dailyintake of sugars, fats and calorie intake.

• The use of excessive salt and consumption of salty foods increases the risk of stomach cancer. Avoid frequent consumption of very saltyfoods, salted foods, pickles, etc. Do not cook your food with a high level of salt, and do not use salt at the table. You can reduce the amount of salt used when cooking by substituting it with aromatic nutrients, such as thyme, mint, red pepper, onion, garlic and parsley.Instead of salting and storing foods,choose to freeze and store them.

• Fungi and toxins may form in cereals,flour, legumes and walnut, hazelnut,pistachio and similar oil seeds and spices which are stored in damp places. Alpha toxins, which is one of these toxins, is a risk factor particularly for liver cancer. Keep these foods in dry and cool places. Avoid consuming bluecheese.

• Consume 1.5-2 liters of water andliquids every day, with a preferencefor water, fruit juice, tea, herbal teas (linden tea, sage tea, green tea, rosehip,etc.), compotes and stewed fruits,buttermilk, etc.

• Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks. If you do drink, do not consume alcoholic beverages more than 1-2 times a week. Research indicates that alcoholicbeverages increase the risk of somecancer types.

• Do not smoke. Smoking increases the incidence rate of many cancer types,mainly including lung and trachea cancers.

• Perform regular physical activity forat least 30 minutes a day. Regularlyperform aerobic exercises, such as walking, swimming and biking at leastfor 3-4 days a week. Walk outdoors, inan environment with plenty of oxygen.

• Use clean water resources asdrinking water.

• There is not yet sufficient evidence regarding the protective effects of the use of vitamin supplements against cancer. Try to cover your vitamin and mineral needs through natural nutrients. Remember that the protective effect of vitamins and minerals against diseasese merge together with antioxidant molecules, phyto chemicals, pomace and nutritional elements found in other foods.

• Limit consumption of convenience foods containing additives and foods such as salami, sausages, hot dogs and pastrami, which include additives suchas nitrite and nitrate.

• Limit the use of artificial sweeteners.Regulate your sugar intake instead ofusing artificial sweeteners. 


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