Nutrition and Skin Cancer

Most nutrition advice is quite general and applies to all sorts of cancers. Thirty to 40% of cancers are directly linked to dietary choices according to a 1997 report underwritten by the American Institute for Cancer Research, titled Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.

New research is strengthening the link between healthy eating and the prevention of certain types of cancer. Additionally, some diets, notably high calorie and high fat diets, can increase the risk of cancer. A diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains yields numerous immediate and short term benefits, and it is now becoming clear how significant the long term benefits are as well. It is important to note that other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol use, exercise level and obesity also play a role in the risk of developing cancer.

“Have a Cuppa to Prevent Skin Cancer?”

Recent research has revealed that drinking as many as 4-5 cups of green tea per day may prevent skin cancer. Epigallocaechin, a polyphenol found in green tea has been linked to prevention of early stages of skin cancer. Laboratory studies have also shown that polyphenols, can stop cancer cells from growing.

Other research has also revealed that green tea could be effective in preventing lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers and that drinking green tea can consideraly reduce your risk of hardening of the arteries. There are suggestions that drinking one cup of green tea a day can lower your risk by up to 96%.

How Your Diet Can Protect You from Skin Cancer

Consuming a healthy diet full of natural antioxidants is a useful strategy to ensure your body is primed to have the best defense against overexposure to the sun’s harmful UVA rays at all times.

Fresh, raw, unprocessed foods deliver the nutrients that your body needs to maintain a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils in your skin, which is your first line of defense against sunburn.

Fresh, raw vegetables also provide your body with an abundance of powerful antioxidants that will help you fight the free radicals caused by sun damage that can lead to burns and cancer.

Some of the most important foods and nutrients to focus on for skin-cancer prevention include:

Nutrient Found in these foods
Beta-carotene Sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens andmost yellow/orange veggies
Lycopene Tomatoes (including in cooked form in sauces,  etc.),watermelon, papaya, pink guava
Lutein Spinach, kale, peas, Brussels sprouts, zucchini,pistachios, broccoli, egg yolks
Epi­gallocatechin gallate (ECGC) Green and black tea, rosemary, thyme,and polyphenols   oregano, garlic, cocoa
Flavonoids Citrus, especially citrus peel
Proanthocyanadins Cocoa, grape seeds
Cruciferous veggies Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brusselssprouts, kale