Dr Richard Béliveau, prominent researcher and author, whose interests are cancer prevention and treatment, has shown that certain foods ‘inhibit cell growth in certain cancers‘. Researchers were able to test crude extracts from different foods, creating a classification of vegetables with ‘the most inhibitory effects’ for specific types of cancers, providing greater insight into the anti-cancer compounds of a dietary origin.
According to the most recent findings of the World Cancer Research Fund published in 2007, at least 30% of all cancers are directly related to dietary habits and that this proportion may be as high as 70% in the case of cancer of the gastrointestinal system. As heredity cancers accounts for only a small proportion of all cancers – less than 15%, this then leaves environmental factors and lifestyle choices as the two main front runners.
‘75% of cancers may be preventable through lifestyle changes‘
With this information in hand, could it perhaps give us a clue of what course of action we can proactively take, with all the evidence pointing to the fact that, in many cases, ‘the power to change the course of events lie fairly and squarely in our own hands’!!
It has been shown that no one single food contains all the ‘anti-cancer molecules‘ capable of acting on all the processes involved in tumor development. This fact underscores the importance of integrating a large variety of foods in our diet. Since several of the molecules that possess the ‘strongest anti-cancer properties’ are present in a limited number of foods only, it is essential to include these ‘phytochemical-rich foods’ in our diet in order to maximize their ‘protective anti-cancer effects’.
‘Adopting a diet rich in foods that are exceptional sources of anti-cancer molecules is therefore one of the best weapons currently at our disposal in the fight against cancer’
A combination of several foods, each possessing distinct anti-cancer compounds, makes it possible to target the various processes involved in tumor growth and to increase the effectiveness of each of the foods. These studies certainly suggest that in addition to being an essential source of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables constitute an ‘effective weapon in cancer prevention’.