Can Vegetarian Diets Lower Cancer Risks?
It is common knowledge that plant foods are the most nutrient-dense for the human body. Dietary fortification is achieved by consuming whole and unprocessed natural foods that are high in nutrients and low in fat. We might all live to be a hundred if we can avoid the drive-thru and put down the Twinkies.
Vegetarians eat a plant-based diet without meat, poultry, fish, or dairy. Vegans adhere to a stricter diet that allows them to consume only plant foods and no animal products or foods derived from animals, such as butter. Many studies have investigated the relationship between these types of diets and cancer prevention.
Is it possible to minimize cancer risk merely through diet, and vegetarians do so?
Recent research shows that eliminating animal products, in particular, can reduce your risk of acquiring cancer.
Vegetarian diets are high in fiber, an independent factor in cancer prevention, especially cancers of the digestive tract. In the early 1970s, the research discovered that colon cancer was lowest in areas of the world with the highest fiber intake (and vice versa).
Colon cancer is most common in countries where meat-eating is low and, consequently, low fiber consumption.
Why Does Fiber Work?
No one knows for certain how fiber can protect against colon cancer, but doctors have some theories. Fiber is not digested by the GI system and helps move food through the small and large intestines, moving carcinogens from the diet and out of your body. The fiber draws water into the colon, increasing the dilution of the carcinogen.
Fiber is also thought to bind to bile acids released by the gallbladder. Bile acids that are bound by fiber do not become carcinogens when exposed to gut bacteria. Fiber is fermented in the colon as well. This increases the acidity of the GI tract, making bile acids less dangerous. Fiber is thought to help prevent breast and stomach cancer due to its ability to reduce carcinogens. Furthermore, fiber reduces the amount of estrogen in the body. Unopposed estrogen is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer.
A vegetarian diet rich in whole fruits, vegetables, peas, lentils, beans, and whole grains is the best way to get enough fiber.
Fat and Vegetarian Diets
High-fat diets linked to colon and breast cancer A vegetarian diet is the best strategy to lower dietary fat intake. Breast and colon cancer rates are lower in countries with minimal fat intake. Reducing dietary fat can help you survive breast cancer.
While vegetables can produce fats in the form of vegetable oils, animal fat is considered to be more dangerous. A vegetarian diet eliminates animal fats, lowering your cancer risk. Animal fat in the body promotes an increase in hormone content, such as estrogens. As previously stated, estrogen stimulates breast cancer. The gallbladder secretes more bile acids with fat, which might cause colon cancer. To be safe, keep your fat intake below 15%.
Following a Vegetarian Diet Can Be Beneficial in Other Ways
- Many cancer-fighting molecules are found in vegetables, such as beta-carotene, which is found in yellow and dark green vegetables. Beta-carotene may prevent lung, bladder, oral, and laryngeal cancers.
- Flavones and indoles are two other chemicals found in vegetables that have been linked to cancer prevention.
- Fruits and vegetables include antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
- Vegetarians are found to have stronger immune systems than non-vegetarians. Natural killer cell activity is critical for scavenging cancerous and precancerous cells. Vegetarians are more likely to engage in this activity.
A vegetarian diet is a fantastic alternative for people who want to reduce cancer risk.