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Cancer Prevention on a Plate

By Nancy Spaulding-Albright RD, CNSD, LD/N

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  • Grapes – Contain Resveratrol, Quercetin, anthocyanin and catechin, all exhibit anti-oxidant properties. Resveratrol also appears to inhibit tumor growth at various stages in the cancer process. Red grapes and red wine appear to be somewhat better than the white versions as far as flavanoid content. Purple grape juice and grapes work well too if you abstain from alcohol.

  • Tomatoes – Rich in the carotenoid, Lycopene. Cooking tomatoes with a little dietary fat such as olive oil, improves the absorption of Lycopene. It appears to reduce the risk of colon, prostate, bladder and possibly breast cancers.

  • Tea – Polyphenols, Catechins and Flavanoids in green and black versions appear to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke. A compound called epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) found in tea appears to block an enzyme needed for cancer cell growth.

These foods and many more deserve a newfound respect for the health benefits they can provide. Taking numerous dietary supplements is not the key to disease prevention but learning to put your fork in the right foods just may be.

The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Prevention are as follows:

Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources

  • Limit your intake of high fat foods, particularly from animal sources

  • Be physically active: achieve and maintain a healthy weight

  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages if you drink at all

(Other risks such as smoking, sun exposure, occupational carcinogens etc. are not specifically nutrition-related so they are not addressed in these guidelines.)

Reliable Cancer and Nutrition Resources
American Cancer Society 800-227-2345

American Institute for Cancer Research

American Dietetic Association Consumer Hotline

National Cancer Institute

Oncolink (University of Pennsylvania)

Nancy Spaulding-Albright RD, CNSD, LD/N is a nutritionist practicing in Eustis Florida.

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