KARACHI: As many as 9.6 million lives are lost globally due to cancer, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). In Pakistan alone, 110 women die every day due to breast cancer. An additional, 10.2 million women are at high risk, according to Pink Ribbon Pakistan, an NGO actively campaigning for breast cancer awareness.
Union for International Cancer Control, which recognises February 4 as World Cancer Day, has launched a three-year campaign ‘I Am and I Will’, calling for a personal commitment to help tackle the global menace of cancer.
While there may be no complete cure to cancer yet, there are preventative measures that can be adopted on an individual level. Cancer prevention, never a one-time effort, has to be consistent and what better way to do it than to make it part of a steady diet.
Here are a few foods that can lower the risk of cancer:
The good think about desi cuisine is that we tend to be very generous with the use of garlic. Studies have shown that the component allicin in garlic has shown to kill cancer cells in test-tube studies. Similarly, onions, shallots and leeks are known to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
The importance of fish for a healthy diet comes up every now and then. Known for omega oil and one of the best protein options to go for, fish are not behind keeping one away from cancer. Studies have proven to have cut down the possibility of of developing colorectal cancer, according to Reader’s Digest. In particular are salmon, mackerel and anchovies, known for high amounts of Vitamin D which keeps cancer cells at bay.
3. Citrus fruits
In Pakistan, we get an ample supply of citrus fruits from oranges to limes to grapefruits. Just now its winters and the sight of fresh juice vendor is enticing. Citrus fruits are known to cut down cancerous cells in digestive and respiratory tracts. Three servings a week of citrus fruit reduces the risk of cancer by 26%, according to an article on Healthline
4. Olive Oil
Again, this can’t be stressed enough for an overall healthy lifestyle. To reduce dryness, to keep a check on cholesterol; the health benefits are a long list, simply replace your regular cooking oil with olive oil. It is known to work well against breast and digestive cancer.
Sure, Biryani has a cinnamon stick in it but for this to really work, half to one teaspoon, i.e. two to four grams, of it should be consumed each day. Plus,it reduces blood sugar and cuts down on inflammation. Cinnamon has been known to curtail the spread of tumors, according to Healthline. In test-tube studies, it has proven to be effective against neck and head cancer cells and reducing the size of tumors. Have it in tea or add in the dessert.