While the medical fraternity is working on better cures for cancer, there are some simple alterations one can make to one's diet to prevent the feared disease. Nutritionist and fitness trainer Iram Zaidi says the answer lies in the roots of our gastronomic heritage:
Cut down on processed sugar: Some studies have shown that high levels of sugar in the diet are a major risk factor for certain types of cancers, especially breast cancer. Cutting down the intake of processed sugar by opting for a more natural low calorie sweetening solution like stevia -- extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana -- seems to be the answer. High purity stevia has been adopted by global F&B giants like Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Modelez and the like to reduce the quantity of sugar in their products. Now approved by FSSAI, stevia sweetened products are becoming available in the Indian market and is safe for children, pregnant women and diabetics alike.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a household item, used in Indian cooking for flavouring food. We know turmeric has antiseptic properties but it is also believed that the main component of turmeric -- curcumin -- has anti-cancer effects on cancer cells. Research has shown that there are low rates of certain type of cancer in countries where people regularly consume 100 mg to 200 mg a day.
Leafy green vegetables: Leafy greens are the cornerstone of any healthy diet. They are exceptionally rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes, yet very low in calories, fats, sodium and other toxins. Leafy greens of all kinds are known to combat cancer. As natural sources of glucosinolates, they also contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, inactivate carcinogens, help reprogramme cancer cells to die off and prevent the formation of tumors. These powerhouse nutrients are known to break down during the chewing and digestion process into biologically active compounds that prevent the growth of cancer cells. So, Go Green to cut down the risk of cancer and boost immunity.
Sugarcane juice: A glass of this sweet drink not only hydrates your body in summer, but it is also full of nutrients that help you stay fit and healthy. Sugarcane juice is alkaline in nature and has a high concentration of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and manganese. Including it regularly in your diet can help prevent cancer as the disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Prostate and breast cancer won't affect you if you regularly drink sugarcane juice. It is called the "King of Juices" for a reason. Thanks to the tech innovation, this super fluid is now available in the form of bottled and cold pressed juices made in the most hygienic manner -- and that too, the year round.
Green tea: Yes, a good quality of green tea not only ensures good heart health, provides antioxidants, prevents Alzheimer's, prevents diabetes and is good for bone health but is also believed to keep cancer at bay. Green tea contains major polyphenolic compounds, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which has been shown to inhibit the invasion of tumors. Thus, it is important to adopt the good habit of drinking green tea every day.
If one thinks about it, it's not really that tough to adopt these blessings of nature to keep cancer away. It's important to be aware of what we eat and stay away from artificial foods, high sugar consumption and reduce our chemical intake. Eat healthy, eat natural and keep cancer away from you and your family.
(With IANS Inputs)