You already know that what you eat makes a difference in your overall wellness. You may even have noticed that you feel better when you eat more healthily. The flip side is true, too — many have suffered after a particularly decadent dining experience.
What you choose to eat doesn’t just impact how you feel in the short term, though. It also affects your risk of developing cancer later in life.
As a urologic cancer specialist, Abraham Woods, MD, can help you make better nutrition choices to promote your overall wellness. With his support, patients at the Center for Urology in Altamonte Springs, Florida, learn the ins and outs of good nutrition for a cancer-free life.
Dr. Woods can personalize a healthy eating plan for you and your preferences. Here, we outline some general do’s and don’ts to cancer risk-reducing nutrition.
Foods that help reduce cancer risk
A mostly plant-based diet is a great place to start. As you’d probably expect, that includes plenty of — and a wide range of — colorful fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables. But it also means working in lots of other things that grow, like whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.
Eating plant-based means you’ll get plenty of phytonutrients, which can help prevent certain cancer-causing agents from forming in your body. If you do eat meat, choose fish over beef and other fatty meats that can lead to inflammation in the body.
You should also work to get lots of fiber in your diet. Not only does ample fiber intake help you maintain a healthy weight, which can further help to reduce your cancer risk, but studies show that fiber can help to reduce your risk of cancers including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
You should also make sure you’re getting enough of the key vitamins and minerals. If you’re not getting enough of the essential nutrients you need from your diet, talk to a doctor or nutritionist about taking supplements.
Look for foods that are rich in antioxidants, like berries, pecans, and dark chocolate. Antioxidants fight against free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can damage your cells and heighten your risk of cancer.
Foods to avoid that can increase cancer risk
Just as a healthy diet can help to prevent cancer, certain foods and drinks can heighten your risk. Those include:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Charred or burned food
- Excess sugar
- Fried foods
- Processed meat, like salami and hot dogs
Adjusting your nutrition to prevent your risk for cancer doesn’t have to mean eating meals you don’t enjoy. Talk to Dr. Woods, and he can work with you to create a nutrition plan that tastes delicious, helps you feel great, and reduces your cancer risk.
To get started on a path to good nutrition and a healthier life, call the Center for Urology Monday through Friday, or book your appointment online anytime.