Cancer is one of the major and most dangerous diseases in the world. According to the World Health Organization’s 2003 report, cancer rates can increase further by 50% i.e. to 15 million new cases in 2020. However, they also say that one-third of cancer can be prevented by avoiding cancer causing foods, smoking, and infection. According to WHO 2015 report, these are the major causes of cancer:
As you can see, 30% of cancer comes from the diet in Dubai and other developed countries. As a part of UAE or any other developed Middle Eastern country, you would’ve noticed the gradual lifestyle changes from traditional to a more Western lifestyle. This lifestyle is related to food – a high caloric diet that is rich in fat, refined animal protein, and carbohydrates. Combine it with low physical activity and you can link it to a lot of diseases like obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
So, here’s the thing: do a self-evaluation and see what you normally eat. Make a list and compare it to the following list to see if you are eating Cancer Causing Foods. If you are scratch them off your list and your life to live a more healthy life.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
The industry of genetically modified crops is growing exponentially. They are like everywhere because 90% of corn and soy are genetically modified. Experts agree that enough testing wasn’t done before they were introduced in the market and added in thousands of products. What you can do about it is to check the labels of the products and buy GMO-free diet as much as possible. Reading labels is hectic and many countries don’t place restrictions on GMO foods. So, what you can do is to see if the label says that the food is organic, all-natural or the product has a seal that says “non-GMO Project Verified”. They are safer options. Look at the following images:
Cancer Causing Foods – Processed Foods
Processed foods definitely cause cancer. The word “processed” causes some confusion. For the sake of clarification, foods that are chemically processed and made from artificial or refined ingredients are called processed foods. They are high in salt, sugar, and fats to add more flavors and increase their shelf life. So, you should stay away from cereals, processed meat, tinned vegetables, microwave, and ready meals. Prefer organic and home-cooked meals.
Microwave popcorn is convenient and it tastes good but the bags of these microwave popcorns are lined with harmful chemicals. These chemicals not only cause infertility but also pancreatic, liver and testicular cancers. Besides this, the artificial butter flavoring contains diacetyl chemical which is toxic for humans and causes lung cancer.
Soda and Carbonated Drinks
That doesn’t come as a surprise because soda is linked to many health issues. Filled with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), food coloring and a lot of chemicals, it literally acidifies your body and leads to cancer. They don’t provide any nutritional value and still contribute to obesity and diabetes.
“Diet” beverages are even more harmful because of artificial sweeteners like aspartame. In a recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority, many studies found that aspartame causes cancer and birth defects. Avoid them like a plague and go for healthier beverages like tea, coffee, lemonade, smoothies, real fruit juices etc.
Besides rapidly spiking your insulin levels, refined sugars also feed the growth of cancer cells. The biggest danger comes from HFCS because cancer cells easily metabolize them to grow. Cakes, cookies, pies, cereals, sodas, juices and other popular and processed food items are loaded with HFCS. This explains the rise in the rates of cancer.
Cancer-Causing Foods – Refined White Flour
When flour is refined, it is stripped from all nutritional value and then it is bleached with chlorine gas to make it appealing. What is more concerning is its excess carbohydrate content. It spikes your insulin levels without giving any nutritional fuel. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers and Prevention links the consumption of refined white flour with breast cancer in women.
Farmed salmon is also one of the major carcinogenic because it is raised in a crowded environment. Added to this, it is treated with antibiotics, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, flame retards, and other carcinogenic chemicals. Farmed salmon also lacks vitamin D and contains lesser Omega-3 as compared to wild salmon.
All of us like the crunchy and flavored potato chips but their negative effects on the body doesn’t make them worth the taste. They are high in fat and calories which results in weight gain. Besides that trans-fat stuff, they contain excess sodium which causes high blood pressure. Moreover, potato chips contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and food colors. Finally, what’s more, dangerous about potato chips is the fact that they are fried in high temperatures to make them crispy but this causes them to make acrylamide. This acrylamide is a known carcinogen which is also found in cigarettes.
Vegetable oils cannot be extracted naturally like butter. So, they are chemically removed from their source and more chemicals are added to make them more appealing for the consumers. Basically, vegetable oils are hydrogenated oils. They contain high amounts of Omega-6 fatty acid which cause heart disease and cancer. Hydrogenated oils cause cancer because they change the structure of our cell membranes. They are also used to preserve processed foods.
Cancer Fighting Foods
As opposed to cancer causing foods, you should include healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that boost your body’s immune system and fight off cancer. Eating plant-based and alkaline foods neutralize the acidity in your body and change your body’s inner environment in a way that it doesn’t remain suitable for cancer to grow. Also, increase your water intake. These 7 foods are awesome:
- Broccoli: It has high amounts of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants and cell-detox properties. Contains sulforaphane which inhibits breast cancer and tumor growth. Just steam, stir-fry or make a smoothie to get the most benefits.
- Tomatoes: Lycopene in tomatoes lowers the risk of prostate cancer.
- Garlic: Allicin released from freshly chopped garlic destroys colon cancer cells.
- Berries: Phytonutrients and anthocyanins slow the growth of malignant cells.
- Kale: The best cancer-fighting food so far, it is packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients, anti-oxidants, and powerful glucosinolates that destroy cancer enzymes. What’s amazing about glucosinolates is that they modify gene expression to kick out carcinogenic cells!
- Black Beans: Antioxidants, folate, and saponins reduce the rates of pancreatic, colon, prostate, and breast cancers.
- Cabbage: Again anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties plus glucosinolates in cabbage protects from prostate, colon, bladder and breast cancers.
These healthy alternatives, as opposed to the “crappy” ones, will improve the quality of your life. Many cancer patients at later stages hear their doctors say that they can’t do anything. But YOU, on the other hand, CAN DO a lot to prevent cancer. Don’t smoke, eat healthily and take care of your hygiene. Then you won’t have to worry about any disease.