One-third of all cancer-related deaths in the United States each year are linked to diet and physical activity, including being overweight and obese, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). But you can take action towards cancer prevention.
The ACS’ advice? Follow a healthy diet with an emphasis on plant-based foods.
Go for fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help protect your body from cancer. Along with whole grains and legumes, they’re good sources of fiber, which may reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.
Filling up on plant-based foods reduces your chances, too, of eating high-calorie and high-fat foods that can lead to excess weight — which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.
It’s recommended adults eat at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day to reduce cancer risk. To give you a better idea of what a cup of fruits or veggies looks like, check out our handy portion-size guide. To increase your intake:
- Add fruits and vegetables into foods already part of your diet. For example, add mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, onions and carrots to pasta sauce.
- Include a serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal and for snacks.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce boredom.
Add more fiber
To increase your fiber consumption, say “no, thanks,” to processed and “yes” to whole fruits and vegetables, especially those you can eat with the skins.
Add legumes and grains that are as whole, real and unrefined as possible, which means choosing whole-grain breads, pasta and cereals and brown rice instead of white rice.
Need help getting started? Fresh veggies and whole grains are incorporated into this quick and easy recipe for Spinach and Feta Pita Bake.
Each serving contains 350 calories; 11.6 g protein; 587 mg sodium; 41.6 g carbohydrates; 17.1 g fat