Cancer is currently one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2008, it accounted for “… 7.6 million deaths or around 13% of all deaths worldwide (World Health Organization (WHO)”). Cancer is so common, in fact, that in the Unites States alone, “It is estimated that 1,638,910 men and women (848,170 men and 790,740 women) will be diagnosed with and 577,190 men and women will die of cancer… in 2012.”
And in case you didn’t know, anyone can get cancer – men, women, old, young, children, women with and without children. Cancer does not discriminate and in fact, according to the American Cancer Society, although childhood cancers are rare, they make up “… less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year.” Although the percentage amount is small, the person count is still too high since this 1% figure means that about 12,000 children under the age of 15 in the United States alone will be diagnosed with cancer in any one year.
Cancer also affects all parts of the body – brain, eyes, stomach, anus, cervix, breasts, prostate and more. In fact, the American Cancer Association has listed 29 main types of cancers with some having derivatives. The main types of cancer worldwide, though, tend to be lung, stomach, liver, colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer. According to the International Agency for Research, in economically developed countries, the three (3) most commonly diagnosed cancers are:
1. For Men – Prostate, Lung & Bronchus and Colon & Rectum cancer
2. For Women – Breast, Colon & Rectum and Lung & Bronchus cancer
While in developing countries, the three (3) most commonly diagnosed cancers are:
1. For Men – Lung & Bronchus, Stomach and Liver cancer
2. For Women – Breast, Cervix Uteri and Lung & Bronchus cancer
And there’s more! According to WHO, “Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030.” That’s almost double the current annual amount of cancer deaths. Frightening isn’t it?
Well, you already know the old adage, “Prevention is better than cure.” That’s also so very true when it comes to cancer. You have the power to prevent and protect you and your loved ones from cancer. No expensive equipment or fancy foods are needed. The SOLUTION – Fresh Fruits and Vegetables! Yes, it’s that simple!
How Can Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Help in the Prevention of Cancer?
Fresh fruits – as opposed to canned fruits or preserved fruits – are best for fighting and preventing cancer. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables contain lots of Vitamin C as well as nutrients and phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. This mix of Vitamin C, nutrients and antioxidant properties of fresh fruits and vegetables are very important, not only for preventing cancer, as they:
a. Help neutralize free radicals in the body and thus prevent the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body that can lead to cancerous growths.
b. Prevent clogging of the arteries, so that there is enough oxygen in the blood and there is free and adequate blood flow throughout the body bringing adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients to all body cells and resulting in reduced risk of developing a heart and other diseases, such as cancer.
c. Prevent premature aging so that skin remains supple not dry and wrinkles are kept to a minimum.
d. Facilitate waste elimination, purification of the blood and the proper functioning of the intestines and digestive system due to their fibre content.
e. Strengthen the immune system as well as bones, teeth, nails and arteries.
How to Incorporate Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Your Daily Diet
Trying to eat the recommended 5 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day [1 serving is equal to ½ cup] can seem a burdensome task but using these meal tips can ensure that you get it all in:
a. Incorporate a fruit, fruits or some vegetables into breakfast – whether it’s a slice of your favourite fruit or a melange of your favourite fruits mixed together in a Smoothie or a delicious Rainbow Vegetable Omelette
b. Snack on a fruit for your 10 o’clock or mid-morning break – one fruit or several individual fruits or a fruit salad incorporating different coloured fruits to take the bore out of eating fruits.
c. Make the salad your main dish during lunch. That’s right. If you were to divide your plate into sections mentally, your salad or vegetables should take up at least half (½) of your plate. Don’t do like most people and eliminate vegetables from your lunch or put a token spoonful of vegetables on your lunch plate.
d. Instead of ice-cream or cheesecake or pastry for dessert have a serving of fresh fruits or a fruit salad.
e. For your afternoon snack, get rid of the chocolate bar, cheese sticks and potato chips. Again have a fruit or a fruit salad. Choose a different fruit or mix of fruits each time to ensure that you don’t get bored and treat eating fruits as a chore.
f. Try a different colour fruit or vegetable each day (red, orange, yellow, green, purple, etc.) or try a rainbow mix of colours each day. Each colour fruit and vegetable provides the body with a different set of nutrients and vitamins.
I have to agree with the famous 19th century, French gastronome, epicure, lawyer and politician – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826) – when he says “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” If you forget to include or deliberately omit fresh fruits and vegetables from your daily diet, it is sure to manifest itself one day in the form of some type of cancer or illness, blockage of your arteries and premature aging. All of which can be prevented with a few dollars of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased each week as opposed to the thousands of dollars that will be needed to cure your cancer through radiation, chemotherapy, medication, doctor visits, hospital visits and stay.
What Does Water Have to Do With Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Cancer Prevention?
So you’ve eaten your 5 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables for the day. Great! Well what about the water? If you don’t drink your daily recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water then you’ve counteracted all the good that your fruits and vegetables were supposed to do. Why? If you don’t drink enough water, you prevent your body from properly eliminating waste and toxins. This resulting build-up of waste and toxins in your body, over time, will lead to cancerous growths in the body and by extension cancer.
Drinking any liquid – sodas, canned or bottled drinks, beer and other alcoholic beverages, milk, tea, coffee – is not a substitute for water. Many people erroneously count their intake of, especially beer, milk and soda, as part of their daily water intake since they argue that they all contain water. Your body knows what it needs – water. Does a man who has spent a considerable amount of time in the dessert ask for milk? No! He asks for water! Does a woman ending a long fast after a few days ask for beer? No! She asks for water! Water, by itself, has alkaline, thirst quenching and purifying properties that soda, milk or beer cannot provide.
If, however, in addition to your daily intake of 5 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables, you drink the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water each day, you will be helping to flush toxins and other waste from your body, purify your blood, keep your skin supple, reduce acidity in your body and keep viruses out of your immune system. All pluses for your health.
So eat your 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day and keep cancer at bay!