What influence does nutrition have on the development of cancer?

There are always new reports, which substances in food are probably cancer-causing and which may protect us from it. Many people are afraid of supposedly carcinogenic substances in our food, and the prevention of cancer through a healthy diet is much more important.

A tumor arises

A cancer develops in a multi-stage process over many years or even decades. In the course of life, there are many factors that can lead to changes in our genetic information. These are both mechanisms that take place in the body, as well as factors that affect the body from the outside.

If these deficiencies are not remedied by our body's own defense mechanisms, permanent damage can result, leading to a dysregulation of cell growth. The cells then multiply uncontrollably and a tumor grows up. This is a very complex event that has not yet been clarified in all details.

Diet and lifestyle

Numerous studies and observations prove that the development of cancer is significantly influenced by lifestyle and diet. Not only does our daily intake of food fill us up, but the food components also intervene in an infinite number of metabolic processes that take place in our body. Depending on what we eat, we can set the course in one direction or the other.

It does not seem to depend on individual isolated food components but rather on the entire nutritional pattern of a human being. The selection, preparation and quantity of food consumed daily is crucial.

Lots of fruits, vegetables and cereals

Certain ingredients of foods have health benefits. This was mainly found for plant foods. In particular, fruits and vegetables contain substances that can protect against the development of cancer in various organs. These include, for example, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. The interaction of the cocktail of these different substances seems to be more important than high doses of individual ingredients.

  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • If you mix the bed, you are optimally supplied with all phytochemicals.
  • If you prefer whole-grain products (wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta), they contain a particularly high amount of fiber.

For a long time it was discussed whether taking high concentrations of antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and ß-carotene can prevent cancer. Antioxidant vitamins are able to protect the genetic information of a cell from oxidative damage and thus protect it from permanent damage. However, large-scale studies have failed to show that higher doses provide greater protection. Some studies have even shown higher cancer rates in those taking high-dose antioxidants.

Economical with meat and sausage

High meat consumption, on the other hand, seems to have a negative effect on the development of some types of cancer (for example breast and colon cancer). If meat is very common on the diet, this usually means that the energy and fat intake is very high, which often leads to obesity.

At the same time, the consumption of fruits and vegetables is usually too short. In addition, the iron intake associated with meat consumption may be important because iron promotes the formation of oxygen radicals, which in turn may cause oxidative damage to the cells.

Another important point is the preparation of meat. Depending on the method of preparation, substances may be produced (heterocyclic aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which have been found in animal experiments to be carcinogenic. These substances are produced especially during heavy searing, browning and crickets.

  • Meat should be on the menu only two to three times a week.
  • Prefer lean meats.
  • Prepare meat gently - simmer, cook and stew are better than strong roast and grill.
  • When grilling, do not lay the food directly on the grill, but use aluminum foil or aluminum dishes.

Normalize weight

In Germany, more than 65 percent of men and 55 percent of women are too fat. Obesity is an independent risk factor for the development of certain types of cancer. If the weight is too high, there are numerous changes in the hormone balance of the body, which may also have an influence on the development of cancer.

For example, in adipose tissue, there is a conversion of androgens (male sex hormones) into estrogens (female sex hormones), which results in an increase in estrogen levels. The concentration of estrogens in the body has a significant impact on breast and uterine cancer. But for other types of tumors there seems to be a higher risk of overweight. A BMI (body mass index) between 20 and 25 has proven to be optimal.

How to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI):

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