News Stories

Eat Vegetables to Prevent Cancer?

Well, yes and no - Sometimes things aren't they way they seem to be. For instance, we used to be told that diets full of fruits and vegetables will protect us from cancer, but researchers no longer think that's true. Does this mean we should forget about eating a healthy diet?

Not if you want to avoid Alzheimer's: Neurologists have discovered that sticking to a diet rich in nuts, fish and vegetables significantly cuts the chance of developing Alzheimer's. And it's the COMBINATION of good foods that's important.

Researcher Yian Gu studied the diets of over 2,000 older people for 4 years. During this time, about 250 people of them developed Alzheimer's, but the ones who ate included more salad dressing, nuts, fish, poultry, fruits and green leafy vegetables, and less high-fat dairy, red meat and butter, were far less likely to develop it (Notice the nuts, since it's the healthy food that people tend to overlook).

In contrast to this, an analysis by researchers of over 8 years of dietary data from more than 400,000 people has found that the relationship between high consumption of fruits and vegetables and a reduced risk of cancer is not as strong as commonly thought.

It is widely believed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of cancer. In 1990, the World Health Organization recommended eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to prevent cancer and other diseases. However, although many studies have been conducted since then, none have been able to confirm an association between fruit and vegetable intake and cancer resistance.

Cancer researcher Paolo Boffetta says, "The bottom line here is that, yes, we did find a protective effect of fruit and vegetable intake against cancer, but it is a smaller connection than previously thought. Any cancer protective effect of these foods is likely to be modest, at best. However, eating fruits and vegetables is beneficial for health in general."

Meanwhile, BBC News reports that the fruits and vegetables we THINK are the healthiest aren't necessarily the ones we should be eating. For example, sweet potatoes are better for us than carrots and a papaya is a better choice than an orange. Foods like raspberries, watercress and kale, are richer in nutrients which may help prevent disease.

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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