Cancer Prevention Tips: Eat more vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, & pulses

Posted on: 13 Jan 2016

Often people can focus on eating one or two particular superfoods in an attempt to be healthier. ‘Superfoods’ are foods rich in nutrients (broccoli, berries, wheatgrass, goji berries etc.) that are often purported to have anti-cancer effects.

But the term ‘superfood’ is really just a marketing tool, with little scientific basis. It’s certainly true that a healthy, balanced and varied diet can help to reduce the risk of cancer but it is unlikely that any single food will make a major difference on its own.

Instead of focusing on eating one or two ‘superfoods’, focus on eating a wide variety of nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables. Eat at least five portions (at least 400g) of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and of fruits every day. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and can affect the risk of some cancer types, like mouth and throat cancers. Fruit and vegetables are a good source of many important nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate, and are an excellent source of fibre.

A portion of fruit of vegetables is an 80g serving. Examples of a portion: a medium-sized apple, a banana, 2 satsumas, 3 heaped tablespoons of cooked veg, or a cereal bowl’s worth of salad. If you’re trying to get your children to eat more fruit and veg, research shows that tiny tastes can help get them into a new food. Don’t force them to eat something they hate, but do give them several opportunities to try a small amount of it. Working with their preferences can help too - children tend to like crunchy and sweet foods. So try them out on crunchy raw carrots or peppers as a snack

Eat relatively unprocessed cereals (grains) and/or pulses (legumes) with every meal. Limit refined starchy foods. People who consume starchy roots or tubers as staples also need to ensure they eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and pulses.

Bowel cancer is less common in people who eat lots of fibre. Boost the fibre in your diet by eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. Choose wholegrain varieties of starchy foods wherever possible, such as wholemeal bread, whole wheat pasta and whole grain cereals. Choose brown rice, oats and pulses too. Eat fruits and vegetables that contain lots of fibre, such as peas, beans, onions and celery.

Click here to learn about how limiting your consumption of red meats and avoiding processed meat could affect your risk of cancer.

© Site Designed by Granite Digital