Saturday, December 25, 2010

Vegetables reduce risk of cancer

Remember mom's advice to eat your vegetables? That was the best health advice around.

A study shows that one extra serving of fruit or vegetables a day may reduce the risk of head and neck cancer.

Extensive research shows that diet plays an important role in combating cancer.

Two thirds of all cancer patients got the disease from lifestyle factors like smoking, diet and lack of exercise. In one study, scientists studied the diets of a group of men and women over 50 and followed each participant for 5 years to record the diagnosis of head and neck cancer.

Tobacco and alcohol also increase the risk of head and neck cancers, which affect the mouth, nose, sinuses and throat. Another study found that six servings of fruit and vegetables per day, which is about 1,000 calories, cut the risk of head and neck cancer by 29 percent compared to eating one and a half servings.

Foods rich in flavonols might also help reduce pancreatic cancer, especially in smokers. Flavonols are in plant-based foods found in the highest concentrations in onions, apples, berries, kale and broccoli.

People who consume the largest amount of flavonols have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing cancer compared to those who eat the least amount.