Are you at the risk of getting cancer? What does the food you eat have to do with it? Can foods we eat cause cancer? Easy, let’s take them one by one. Do you know that there are about 100 types of cancers affecting different parts of the body? Every type has different symptoms and is treated in a different way. Sometimes, cancer can be present for very long in the body, but the patient might be completely unaware of it, as in the case of breast cancer, because of no symptoms to notice. In a large number of cases, cancer is detected at a very later stage, surpassing the time required for any treatment to work.
Cancer is the fastest growing chronic disease today
The root cause of cancer can be hereditary, exposure to ionizing radiation, infections, intake of tobacco/alcohol, lack of physical activity, environmental conditions, or obesity, but you will be surprised to know that there are certain foods can also cause cancer. These foods may contain carcinogens, that is, they can cause cancer.
Here’s a list of,
Five Foods at Your Home That Cause Cancer
1. Soft drinks
Cold drinks that we find so convenient and tasty so much so we drink them all the time, are loaded with food colorings, sugar, and preservatives that can cause cancer. We are warned against drinking them many times but little do we pay heed. Caramel food color, used in Colas and other black soft drinks, exposes people to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), a carcinogen used in the manufacture of the food coloring.
Research shows that 44-58% of people over the age of six, have at least one soda drink per day, making them highly vulnerable to cancer. Drinking just two sugary soft drinks a week increases the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas and can increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Drinking just one fizzy drink a day could increase a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer by around 40 per cent while drinking just one-and-a-half cans a day can bring on early puberty and increase a girl’s breast cancer risk.
To avoid any such complications, try drinking as much of natural drinks as possible when thirsty. Drink water, coconut water, lime juice, fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, buttermilk, lassi. Drinks like Appy fizz and Slice are also not really healthy because they contain more chemicals and preservatives as compared to a natural fruit juice. Look carefully at the ingredients before buying a drink.
2. Farmed Fishes
Fishes are very healthy food, provided they are wild and caught from a water body. Farmed fishes are not healthy as they are carcinogenic. About half of the world’s seafood comes from the world’s fish farms. These farms are responsible for unhygienic conditions in which the fishes are brought up, since fishes are kept in confined dark containers, and brought up amidst their faeces. It leads to many diseases, pollution and inferior quality of fish. The omega-3 and protein levels of these fishes are much less as compared to the wild fishes.
According to the Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, Dr. David Carpenter, farmed fishes not only lack vitamin D, but they are often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), flame retardants, pesticides, and antibiotics, which can cause cancer.
Try to eat as much fresh, local seafood as you can. Buy from local vendors at fish markets, rather than buying canned and frosted food from supermarkets.
By the year 2000, cancer replaced heart disease as the leading killer of Americans.
3. Inorganic Foods
We all feel great while having fruits and vegetables, thinking that we are taking lots of nutrients, although, if these veggies are not organic, that is fertilizers and pesticides-free, then they can cause cancer.
According to a report of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), up to 98% of all conventional produce is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides.
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are also not safe to eat due to similar reasons. GMOs like corn, soybeans, and canola are seen to cause tumour growth because of the chemicals and food derivatives used to produce them. However, the risk of consuming these foods can be avoided with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified, and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology. Nowadays there are many organic farms getting started for fresh, unpolluted produce.
4. ‘Diet’ Foods and Beverages
Diet foods are pretty much the in-thing today. People seek to cut down on calories in every food item, be it diet-biscuits, diet-sodas, diet-sugar, and what not. Most of these products are no different from their usual counterparts, plus they contain ingredients that are highly dangerous for our health and can cause cancer. Moreover, they make us addicted to them.
A recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found that Aspartame, most common artificial sweetener, may cause birth defects and cancer. Sucralose, saccharin, and various other artificial sweeteners have also been known to cause cancer.
5. Hydrogenated Oils
Oils are an essential part of our diet as they help us in maintaining our body fit. Although, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, which are found in most packaged food items, are not so natural after the manufacturing process they go through. Several catalysts like nickel and aluminum are added to them and then heated to temperatures ranging from 500-100 degree Celsius. This makes them highly viscous, harming our body as soon as they enter the blood stream, and can cause cancer.
The cells of our body have a defence mechanism run by EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) to allow nutrients and waste material to pass through the membrane while stopping any microbes or viruses. When hydrogenated oil reaches the cell, it gets accumulated in the membrane for defensive purposes, but it is virtually useless and doesn’t perform the required functions for life.
The presence of hydrogenated oil in the cells actually prevents nutrients from entering the cell but at the same time allowing pathogens, microbes, and viruses to pass through. It also prevents waste material from getting out of the cell. Between the nutrients that are kept out of the cell and the waste matter that is now trapped in the cell, the cell often mutates or dies which can lead to cancer, tumours or other serious health issues.
To avoid such conditions, make sure that the food that you eat is closest to its natural state and isn’t fried much. Eat fresh local produce and meat. Fruits and vegetables should be as raw as possible. Avoid chips, wafers, cream biscuits, and other fried snacks as far as you can. They are all packets of industrial chemicals and have zero nutritional value.
Here are some cancer-fighting foods that can prevent cancer:
The proverb, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ holds great significance in the case of cancer as it is better to take actions towards preventing this disease than get afflicted by it and then suffering from the loss of health, property and psychological well-being of the patient and the family.
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