There is no denying that a plant-based diet offers health benefits to the body. However, research suggests that plant-based diets can potentially prevent certain cancers from developing. A new report released by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute of Cancer Research recommends a plant-based diet for reduction in risk of cancer development. According to this report, a healthy diet and lifestyle can potentially prevent up to 40% of cancer cases. In addition, phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables are protective factors against cancer.
Genetics are not solely to blame.
Many individuals fear that if there is a genetic risk of cancer, they are destined to acquire the disease. A study released in 2008 found that only 5-10% of cancer cases are directly related to genetics. This means that the remaining 90-95% of cases are related to lifestyle or environmental factors that are likely preventable. This study noted that 25-30% of cancer cases are linked to tobacco use whereas the 1 in 3 cases are due to food choices. It has been said that your genetics load the gun, but poor lifestyle choices pull the trigger for disease development. There are many factors that account for cancer development, but the top factors include poor diet and limited exercise.
The China Study
In the 1980’s Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University teamed up with the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine to implement one of the most comprehensive studies on nutrition ever done. The study was named The China Project and consisted of a comparison between diets of the rural Chinese, which were primarily plant-based, with other areas of the country. What researchers found was that individuals who lived in larger cities where the food was highly Westernized, meaning it was high in animal protein and fat, had higher cancer rates than those living in rural areas. This study allowed researchers to rule out the genetic link in cancer development and found that the food choices we make had a greater impact.
The information on plant-based diets can be overwhelming. Fortunately, that means there is a plethora of research that is pointing to this type of diet as a way to prevent certain cancers. We want you to be informed and confident to take charge of your health journey. Here are a few more resources for you to investigate:
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/reduce-cancer-risk-plant-based-foods
Foods for Cancer Prevention Fact Sheet: https://p.widencdn.net/j6o9gp/Foods-for-Cancer-Prevention-Fact-Sheet
American Institute for Cancer Research: https://www.aicr.org/patients-survivors/healthy-or-harmful/vegetarian-and-vegan.html
Beet Cancer Wellness Series at FreshVibes
At FreshVibes, one of our main goals is to educate the community about proper nutrition. In October we are offering a 4-week series to provide you with information and resources for you or a loved one’s cancer journey. In this series we will focus on proper nutrition, which will include a plant-based dinner provided each week along with tips and resources to support a healthy mind and body. If you are interested in signing up or learning more about the series email Jessica Albea at firstname.lastname@example.org. The series runs weekly from October 8th-29th on Tuesdays from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. We hope to see you there!