- Albert Einstein
And so now that Thanksgiving's over and you're back on whatever diet you're on, here's some food for thought: The World Cancer Research Fund has just published their list of the 20 best foods to prevent cancer. According to the Independent, "it is a distillation of the findings of its immense report Food Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer, based on thousands of studies, which is being updated for publication in 2006."
In the Independent's paper version, they published the full list of 20 foods, with details of their salubrious ingredients. When I looked for it later, amazingly I couldn't find it on the Indpendent site, nor on the WCRF site (or anywhere online). However, I wrote and they kindly sent it to me. Here it is:
If you don't care to download the brochure (which does have some really good expository info), here's a précis of the important points. You'll note that of the 20 foods on the list noted for the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavenoids, carotenoids, phytochemicals, and compounds shown to reduce cancer risk with the exception of salmon, all are plant-based foods. With the exception of wholegrain bread, all are fruits, vegetables, seeds, or nuts. With the exception of brazil nuts, virgin olive oil, and sunflower seeds, all are fruits or vegetables. There is, I might suggest, a theme to be discerned.
Superfoods: 20 of the best foods for super health
Major recommendation of the report
- Red and orange peppers
- Kiwi fruit
- Brazil nuts
- Sweet potatoes
- Sunflower seeds
- Brussel sprouts
- Virgin olive oil
- Wholegrain bread
"One in three of us will be affected by cancer. There is convincing scientific evidence to show that eating a diet high in a variety of vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of several cancers including mouth and throat, oesophageal, lung, stomach and bowel cancers. Eating more vegetables and fruits is the second most effective way to reduce your risk of cancer, after not smoking."
The WCRF UK Diet and Health Guidelines for Cancer Prevention (note items 1 & 2; also note item 3 :^)
And, always remember… Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form.
- Choose a diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
- Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all
- Select foods low in fat and salt
- Prepare and store food safely
I should note in closing that, yes, this is self-consciously vegetarian/vegan agit-prop. But it is also self-consciously intended to hopefully result in the people I love living longer (and more healthily). Submitted for your consideration, with good intentions.