Can a healthy lifestyle prevent a life threatening disease like cancer? The researches conducted by various scientists over the years suggest that certain vegetables, grains and fruits can help women lead a much better life and reduce the risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer.
Ovarian cancer is a fatal tissue that begins to grow in the ovary and if not treated in time, spreads to other parts. Treating ovarian cancer like any other cancer involves chemotherapy, radiotherapy, vaccine therapy and the last resort often is surgery. But being smart in the choice of dietary inclusions many women may be able to prevent ovarian cancer.
Flavinoids or Phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemicals in plants that are consumed and have been found to help prevent ovarian cancer. The phenolic compounds that are found in soy beans and cereal grain are a great source of preventing cancer. Soy bean, a member of the legume family has been proven to be effective in reducing the risk of getting ovarian cancer.
Soy milk, soy yogurt, tofu and soy based protein powders offer nutritional fibers, vitamin b, omega 3 fatty acids that are very important for the body. However, there are studies which have suggested that soy rich diet can increase the risk of breast cancer. Hence, the physician should be consulted before embarking on a soy rich diet if you are at risk for breast cancer too.
Garlic and tea are also widely recommended. Some studies have suggested that 4 cups of tea either black or green goes a long way in preventing cancer. Studies have also concluded that isoflavones which are usually found in flax seed, soybeans and legumes help to prevent ovarian cancer. Taxol, an important cancer drug, is a phytochemical which was initially extracted from the Pacific Yew tree.
Vegetables of the brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale) have diindolmethane and help in deterring the disease. Other phytochemicals that have preventive properties are carotenoids , isothiocyanates and mono-terpenes.
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Carotenoids and Lycopenes, two important phytochemicals stand out in their effectiveness in lowering the risk of cancer. Women who consumed fruits and vegetables rich in carotene and lycopene were found to be at a lesser risk from ovarian cancer than those who did not include these in their daily diet.
Raw carrots and tomatoes have very high content of these chemicals and must invariably find a place in the daily dietary intake. Other vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, spinach and mustard greens that contain large amounts of antioxidants are widely recommended. Even if someone is taking multivitamin pills to supplement the vitamin needs, it is important to add vegetables to one’s diet as it will make the pills more effective.
Besides the colorful vegetable and anti oxidant rich fruits, women should also include whole grains and cereals in their diet to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Wheat, rice, oat, rye, and maize must be taken. Other food items such as onion, garlic and chives that belong to the allium family are also effective in reducing the risk of ovarian cancer. We may therefore, conclude that diet is a major determinant of the life we would be leading. A healthy lifestyle and healthy diet goes a long way in protecting us form malignant diseases like ovarian cancer.