No surprises that too much meat can strain your system, but new research in JAMA Internal Medicine supports this notion by discovering that vegans had a 16% lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to non-vegetarians. The risk factors were also 18% less for people who eat milk and eggs and 43% less for people who eat fish. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America so it’s clear that making fish your number one protein source is a smart idea, especially if this illness runs in your family. However, it’s important not to forget about the power lurking your vegetables and fruits because a study at the University College of London discovered that eating seven or more portions of them each day reduces your risk of death at any point by 42% compared to eating less than one portion. Mum was right all along, eat your veggies if you want to be strong from the inside out.
Eat in the old ways
Rome wasn’t built in a day, which might have been thanks to the Italian’s ability to eat the right foods needed to live long enough to build it. Research at Ohio State University found that a compound called apigenin found in a Mediterranean style diet puts a pin in cancer cell’s immortality traits. You can find generous quantities of apigenin in celery, parsley and chamomile tea but also in many Mediterranean fruits and vegetables such as artichokes, spinach and red wine. Sadly, pizza didn’t make the cut.
Cruciferous vegetables are key
Of all the veggies, those of the cruciferous variety appear to be a stronghold of cancer fighting armaments. Research at Oregan State University discovered that they’re flush with a compound called sulforaphane, which not only protects your heart, but also safeguards your DNA to prevent cancer from forming. “Cancer is very complex and it’s usually not just one thing that has gone wrong,” said Emily Ho the study co-author. “It’s increasingly clear that sulforaphane is a real multi-tasker. The more we find out about it, the more benefits it appears to have.” That’s your cue to load up your plate with plenty of cauliflower, broccoli and kale, the vegetables with the most of this cancer-bashing compound.
A fondness for the fizz can be a massive risk factor to you. Research in PLOS ONE found that a harmless sounding additive called ‘caramel color’ added to sodas is a possible carcinogen that can cause cancer. They found that 58% of people over the age of six have one can of soda a day, making this a big risk for a huge part of the population. “Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” explains Dr. Keeve Nachman the senior author of the study and director of the Food Production and Public Health Program at the CLF. “This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.” This additive does nothing to the flavor of the drink, just the appearance.