Cancer is one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st century. A cancer diagnosis is often seen as a death sentence, with an average five-year survival rate of 66 percent in the U.S. According to cancer.gov, in 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease. While the cause of some cancers is inexplicable, there are a handful of cancers that are entirely preventable by leading a healthy lifestyle and diet, and speculation suggests that a vegan diet can lower your chances of a few different types of cancer.
Importance of a Healthy Diet
Cancer, like many other chronic illnesses, can often result from what we expose ourselves to, as well as how we treat our bodies. Nutrition is something we learn about as children, when exposed to the food pyramid and guidelines for how to fuel our bodies. However, the perception of the kinds of food we should eat is often morphed by marketing from fast food companies and the meat and animal agriculture industries. Food is a market item that sells, especially when people perceive they are eating fresh and healthy foods.
Proper nutrition is the key to health, as the food we eat fuels our bodies throughout the day and provides us with the nutrients we need to have energy. Many illnesses arise when people don’t eat healthily, such as trouble sleeping and respiratory issues like snoring, and for people with chronic illnesses, diet and exhaustion can have a huge impact. As the connection between healthy eating and cancer is more heavily researched, many individuals concerned with their health have turned to juicing in order to get their recommended servings of vegetables each day and to reap the benefits of a juicing diet.
Eating the recommended amount of fruits and veggies provides people with energy and causes their bodies to feel good. Whether or not a vegan diet can cure cancer, the benefits of a vegan diet that is balanced with healthy vegetables and grains can reduce a person’s chances of getting certain types of cancer and has been shown to slow the progression of cancer. Cancer cells thrive on acidic environments that meat and dairy products have been known to create, which is why a diet change is often important with a cancer diagnosis.
Links Between Diet and Cancer
In western countries where the accessibility of junk food causes people to eat unbalanced meals, rates of cancer and other chronic illness is often higher than in other parts of the world. According to Ohio University, “The effect of this convenience-first approach to diet has been clear for some time: nearly a third of American adults are obese, and many of the leading causes for hospitalization are conditions related to obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.”
Fighting cancer means you need the best food for your body, like fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals. Studies suggest that consuming red and processed meats increase your chances of developing colon cancer and other types of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, which is strained as it processes excess amounts of unnatural foods. Processed meats often contain chemicals and hormones that are given to farm animals to fatten them up, which is then eaten by consumers. When battling cancer, survivors should get their protein and nutrition from plants, which contain the same nutrients without being hard on our bodies.
Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and while some cancers are unavoidable and happen without explanation, there are a few that have been proven to be tied to lifestyle and diet. Cancer diagnoses are terrifying for the individual and their family, which is why some people control their diet carefully to avoid potential illness and disease. By living a healthy lifestyle and eating lots of veggies and little to no meat, individuals are taking their lives into their own hands and doing what’s is in their power to avoid a cancer diagnosis.
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