Recommendations for Cancer Prevention
4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
Basing our diets on plant foods (like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans), which contain fiber and other nutrients, can reduce our risk of cancer.
For good health, AICR recommends that we base all of our meals on plant foods. When preparing a meal, aim to fill at least two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.
Research shows that vegetables and fruits probably protect against a range of cancers, including mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, lung, pancreas and prostate. There are many reasons why vegetables and fruits may protect against cancer. As well as containing vitamins and minerals, which help keep the body healthy and strengthen our immune system, they are also good sources of substances like phytochemicals. These are biologically active compounds, which can help to protect cells in the body from damage that can lead to cancer.
Foods containing fiber are also linked to a reduced risk of cancer. These foods include whole-grain bread and pasta, oats and vegetables and fruits. Fiber is thought to have many benefits, including helping to speed up ‘gut transit time’ - how long it takes food to move through the digestive system.
Plant foods can also help us to maintain a healthy weight because many of them are lower in energy density (calories).