10 Nutrition Tips to Help Prevent & Fight Cancer

November is Pancreatic, Lung and Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. With the growing prevalence of this awful disease, chances are you or someone you know has been affected by it. Although we haven’t yet discovered a cure, we are learning more and more about how to prevent and fight cancer. Here are 10 such nutritional tips:

Increase your fiber. Fiber keeps you regular and may decrease your risk for prostate and colon cancer. Consume high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains: 35 grams/day for men and 25 grams/day for women.

Decrease dietary fat, especially saturated fats. Dietary fat – found in butter, high-fat dairy, fatty meats, sausages and gravies – should make up no more than 30% of your total calories.

Improve your body composition. As we age, we tend to lose lean tissue. The loss of lean body mass and an increase in body fat contributes to increased risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Eat tomatoes. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Men with high lycopene intakes have a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Not a tomato fan? Watermelon and papaya have it, too.

Go meatless. Try a meatless meal at least once a week. It’s an easy way to ensure plants are a large part of your diet and save money on groceries.

Go fishing. The omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, such as salmon, can help decrease inflammation in the body.

Serve up selenium. Studies indicate that people who have lower levels of selenium in their diets have an increased risk of cancer. Two Brazil nuts per day can give you all the selenium you need.

Pass the pumpkin seeds. Don’t toss that Jack ‘o lantern just yet. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral that we use as an antioxidant. Zinc is required for normal prostate function and also helps protect your vision.

Eat sensibly. Overeating stresses the body and excess body weight increases your risk for prostate and colon cancer, as well as heart disease and diabetes.

Relax. Stress harms our bodies and contributes to the development of many chronic diseases. Find a stress-reducing activity that works for you, take the time to relax and enjoy life.