How Does Eating Fruits and Vegetables Affect My Cancer Risk?

Will Eating Fruits and Vegetables Lower My Cancer Risk?

Eating Fruits and VegetablesAll our life we’ve heard, “Make sure to eat your greens.” Maybe you’ve even heard, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But how does the consumption of fruits and vegetables affect our cancer risk?

This is a question 21st Century Oncology’s Dr. Brian Lawenda has been asked often. According to Dr. Lawenda, for the longest time doctors have been telling patients that eating fruits and vegetables can lower your cancer risk that this is true. But is this still true today?

Dr. Lawenda talks about a recent, larger metaanalysis study that tackles how fruits and vegetables really affect our cancer risk.


Brian D. Lawenda, M.D.:  A question that we could ask is whether a vegetarian diet or whether eating more fruits and vegetables actually be lowers the risk of developing cancer.  For the longest time, we have been telling patient that that’s the case.  When we look at larger metaanalysis studies, we are not exactly sure that that’s the case because it becomes very confusing whether or not it’s the fruits, the vegetables, the bionutrients that are in there whether we are just eating a healthier diet in general that is associated with sort of a better lifestyle in general. 

It appears favorable in terms of eating larger amounts of fruits or vegetable does appear to be somewhat protective from the developments of cancer.  In some studies, it is protective as simply having up to 25% lower risk of developing cancer for people who consume higher quantities of fruits and vegetables. 

Whether or not we need to completely avoid animal products that actually really is not well understood and you know probably there was one study that came out just built last week and that was a study looking at a large population of people who found that the vegetarians who only eat for example when they eat any animal product or the fish, those people actually did better in terms of lower risk developing colorectal cancer than pure vegans along. 

So, that was actually really kind of interesting because you know you will think that more vegetable and fruits will lower ones risk and that having animal products in there would actually increase the risk, but as it turned out at least in terms of fish that was even a better ani-cancer activity when you added that to a vegetarian diet. 

So, in general I would say that you know, it’s a very safe recommendation to tell people to have a diet that’s higher in fruits and vegetable, we know that Mediterranean diet is consistently sort of popping out of top of diets in terms of helpful affects in terms of reducing risk of chronic diseases and reducing the risk of cancer and it appears to be a dose related effect.  The more that you follow this type of diet rigorously, the better your outcomes are in terms of lower risk of all these types of conditions.

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