A poor diet, either caused by an excessive or insufficient amount of nutrients, is associated with a higher risk of cancer.
As Dr. Vanessa Fuchs explained to EFE, the head of the Clinical Nutrition Department at the General Hospital of Mexico, “The key may be in the foods we ingest and in the foods that have antioxidants, especially with polyphenols – chemical substances found in plants that have these antioxidant properties.” Dr. Fuchs affirms that diet is one of the key tools to protecting the body from certain types of cancer; while this disease can be genetic, it is also often related to external factors.
As she explains, this is why a diet that is lacking polyphenols is related to an increased risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer, “…although this can also include pancreatic, ovarian, skin, prostate, colon and esophageal cancer.” Some of the main foods that are high in polyphenols include green and black tea, curcumin, pomegranates and broccoli.
Dr. Fuchs also recommends being aware of how foods that contain polyphenols are ingested and cooked, as they can lose their properties due to factors such as exposure to light, storage and how they are prepared. “With the practice of peeling foods, for example, the peel is what often contains the greatest amount of polyphenols, and yet they are not eaten,” she states. Cooking foods can reduce the content of polyphenols by 75%, “…as many of them are water soluble and are absorbed by the water,” she explains.
Polyphenols can also be obtained through supplements, which are safe to take when prescribed by a specialist.