Foods to Avoid During the Holiday to Prevent Cancer

Did you know you can reduce your risk of cancer by eating a nutritious diet? Research shows that as many as one-third of all cancer deaths are linked to lifestyle behaviors including diet and physical activity.

Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years, winter holidays often involve friends, family, and festive meals. Staying healthy is extremely important for your overall health therefore it could be said that the foods you partake in this holiday season should provide you with the right strength, energy and nutrients that supports your mission to live a live a long cancer free healthy life.

Your body needs the right fuel to operate efficiently such as a constant supply of nutrients, including calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Eating the proper foods will not only help cancer patients with their ailments but also helps ones prevent cancer in a variety of ways.  Studies have shown that eating well can positively support cancer treatment as well as foods, exercise, and daily habits that help to lower bodily chemicals that create cancer cells. Here, in this article are some tips about what to include—and what to avoid—in your diet over the holidays to help you stay healthy and stronger.

Can eating sweet potatoes reduce my risk of cancer?

There are indications that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cancer. Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, substances that help the body defend itself against the damage caused by ‘free radicals.’ Studies have suggested that the antioxidants that mainly occur in the peel of sweet potatoes, and particular purple sweet potatoes, can help reduce this oxidation process, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.

Sweet potatoes have proven to be one of the best sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene produces tumor necrosis factor (TNF) that interferes with the growth of tumor cells. A medium-sized sweet potato contains a maximum of 12 mg beta-carotene. When sweet potatoes are dished with tomatoes, the lycopene content of tomatoes improves the uptake and use of beta-carotene. One study showed that eating a lot of beta-carotene, for example in sweet potatoes, reduces the risk of breast cancer by 50%.

Other Holiday foods that help to reduce cancer:

  • Red Grapes

Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and has been found in large amounts in the skin and red grape juice. The National Cancer Institute has revealed that resveratrol helps prevent cancer by limiting the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, the grapes are very rich in vitamin C, which is associated with a reduced risk of cancer of the colon, bladder, chest, and stomach.

  • Whole Grains

It has been proven that whole grains such as rice, wheat, barley, and oatmeal significantly reduce the incidence of cancer. They are rich in fiber and protective antioxidants. A study by the American Institute for Cancer Research showed that when whole grains are consumed in sufficient quantities, they help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The high fiber content helps speed up bowel movements and shortens the contact time between carcinogens and intestinal mucosa.

  • Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries have also been shown to provide significant protection against cancer. They contain pterostilbene, an antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. Also, raspberries reduce the risk of esophageal cancer by 60% and colon cancer by 80%.

  • Canned veggies v.s fresh veggies.

When looking at whether fresh, frozen, or canned veggies are helpful for maintaining your health, one key thing to consider is how a vegetable’s state affects its vitamin and mineral content. If freezing or canning a vegetable causes it to lose its essential, healthy elements, you are eating it solely for the taste and not the health benefits.

Interestingly, in considering the best type of veggie for you, it is a toss-up between fresh and frozen. While fresh produce may seem like the best choice, frozen vegetables do have one trump card. The vegetables that are chosen for freezing are typically picked just at the peak of their ripeness, which correlates to the moment when the item is packed with the highest amount of beneficial nutrients. Fresh vegetables, on the other hand, are often picked before they hit their peak ripeness. This is because produce tends to ripen even after it is picked. Thus, supermarkets want the veggies to look freshest and ripest at the store, not overripe.

Food Hacks to enjoy your holiday meal still and stick to your diet

To help you control the minefield of the season, we have put together the best holiday tips from our nutritionists to eat healthily.

  • Make a party plan

To help you eat healthier during your holiday, you should take a quick snack before heading to a seasonal rally. If you are hungry, you are more likely to overeat later.

  1. Share wealth (and calories)

Bring food baskets, lots of Christmas cookies and other high-calorie gifts that you get at the office to share with your colleagues. Healthy eating during the holidays will be more natural if you do not have these temptations at home.

  1. Drink water while you eat.

Another excellent holiday hack is to drink a lot of water before and during your meal. Drinking water before your meal fills up your stomach so when you start to eat; it takes a shorter time for your stomach to be “full,” helping you eat less. Plus, it’s always a best practice to drink lots of water.

  1. Up your exercise game.

The final way to help your diet during the holidays is to increase the amount of exercise you participate in during the winter season

How to burn off those holiday calories?

A little extra exercise can boost your morale. Many people feel emotional disappointment after a holiday period. However, studies have shown that exercise is an excellent way to stimulate mood or keep negative feelings at bay. In one study, regular exercise seemed to reduce the risk of cancer.

To reducing your risk of cancer, it is essential to keep your body under control. Protect it with vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. One serving, 80 grams, or purple sweet potato contains more than the daily requirements of vitamin A your body needs in a day, 30% of the vitamin C you requires and 15% of your vitamin E needs; as well as a selection of B group vitamins. It is also a rich source of fiber and minerals: manganese, potassium, magnesium, and copper. All of these vitamins and minerals combined forms a powerful antioxidant force that protects your cell membranes and guards against lung, throat and mouth cancers.

Steaming, boiling or baking sweet potatoes activates its peroxidase enzymes and its antioxidant agents. These prevent your cells from oxidizing (or rusting). Cutting a sweet potato into 1-1.5 cm slices and steaming them for about seven minutes brings out its true flavor without killing any vital nutrients. It is best eaten by itself. (Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired, but it’s not necessary.)

Sweet potato and yam strengthen the pancreas and spleen so that they can detoxify your body naturally. The rich supply of minerals in sweet potato speeds up the metabolism process and helps the kidneys remove toxins from your body more efficiently. The quicker and more thoroughly toxins and other unwanted substances are removed from the body the less chance they have to rot, oxidize or have other negative effects.

Making some sweet potato fries instead of eating French fries (made of normal white potatoes) is much more nutritious for you. Just cut up some strips about the size of your longest finger and spread them on a lined baking tray in a single layer. Bake them for 15 to 20 minutes on a medium to a high temperature until crisp. Keep watch as they can burn easily. Sprinkle with sea salt and a squeeze of lime juice.

The solution to reducing the possibility of developing cancer is to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. These are rich in ACE vitamins (antioxidants). Also eat less red meat or no meat at all. Research has shown that vegetarians have 50% less chance of cancer than meat eaters. Being able to provide a variety of delicious meals and take the proper measures to protect you and your family’s health is always a win.

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