Good nutrition is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight, two key ingredients in reducing the risk of a number of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Good nutrition also improves your ability to fight off and recover from illnesses and injuries.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends an eating pattern with an appropriate calorie level. These recommendations include:
- A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups: dark green, red and orange legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other.
- Fruits, especially whole fruits: Research has found that apples have a plant based compound that has anticancer and tumor fighting properties.
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grains:
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages.
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
To get to and maintain a good nutrition is to pay attention to portion sizes and and calories by eating smaller portions of high calorie food and being aware that low fat and non-fat don’t always mean low calorie. Choosing any of the foods on the recommended list above, such as fruit, legumes or vegetables, which are rich in dietary fibers, are always better than foods like french fries, chips or sweets. Have a variety of fruit and vegetable in every meal, every day and try to eat at least three different colors of fruit and vegetables. Also, limit the amount of soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks you have.
It is also important to limit the amount of red and processed meat you eat. This means eating less bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs and choosing fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) instead. If you eat red mead, eat a smaller portion and try not to fry or charbroil anything.
The amount of alcohol you drink can also increase the risk of cancer, so does smoking. If you smoke, stop immediately and if you drink, limit the amount of alcohol. Men who drink alcohol should not have more than two drinks per day and women should not have more than 1 drink.
Some supplements, like Vitamin A, C and E also contain anticancer properties.