Antioxidants could slash lung cancer risk

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last couple of decades, you’re more than well-aware that cigarettes are the “smoking gun” implicated in a lot of serious and deadly health conditions. In fact, 90 per cent of all lung cancer cases are related to smoking.

It’s no wonder why people started to call them “cancer sticks”!

But the sad reality is that smoking is a habit that’s tough to kick – especially when the going gets tough.

So, while I encourage you to quit, I know that going “cold turkey” can sometimes take a couple of tries… and while you swear that this cigarette will be your last, you might fall off the wagon.

You’re only human, after all.

Fortunately, a new study shows that eating a diet high in certain antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can slash your risk of lung cancer… even if your last cigarette always seems to be the next one.

The study, published in Frontiers in Oncology, compared the dietary habits of about 2000 people aged 35 to 75 – half of whom had lung cancer, and half who were free of cancer.

Whether the participants smoked a lot, a little, or not at all, there was a lower risk of lung cancer among those who ate certain fruits and vegetables rich in those nutrients that protect your cells against damage from age, toxins, and more.

And that held true even among the heaviest smokers.

For the male smokers, the antioxidants that seemed to protect best against lung cancer were beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene.

For the ladies, it was vitamin C, which isn’t surprising when you consider its ability to boost your immunity and even fight cancer if you’ve already got it.

The cool thing about this research is that it studied relatively realistic eating habits of normal people – which means you can try to replicate the results on your own (rather than taking inordinate amounts of some substance that can only be administered in a clinical setting).

As you know, I’m a huge fan of the Paleo style of eating – and while it does include lots of animal protein, it also incorporates a ton of fresh (ideally organic) veggies and some fruit into your diet.

So, there’s no reason to go vegetarian or vegan. You can have your steak and eat it, too.

Here are some Paleo-friendly foods you can start bulking up on… whether you’re a smoker trying to quit or a former smoker… or you just want to stack the cards in your favor.

  • Beta-carotene and alpha-carotene can both be found in orange and yellow vegetables like carrots, winter squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.
  • Beta-cryptoxanthin is found in the orange-yellow family too — in produce like sweet peppers, papaya, and tangerines. The best sources of lycopene include red fruits like watermelon and tomatoes (which, yes, are technically a fruit).
  • Vitamin C stretches across the produce rainbow from orange-hued citrus fruits to deep green broccoli and Brussels sprouts to crimson strawberries.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

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Sources:

Antioxidants Protect Against Lung Cancer, newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/antioxidants-protect-lung-cancer/2017/03/09/id/777818/

Inverse Association Between Dietary Intake of Selected Carotenoids and Vitamin C and Risk of Lung Cancer, journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fonc.2017.00023/full

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