Lisa Perry
Health & Wellness

Reduce cancer risk with proper nutrition

October is breast cancer awareness month. Many people I know have been touched by cancer in some way, including my paternal grandmother and grandfather. Four years ago, a friend died at the young age of 53 due to pancreatic cancer. A dear friend had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. Chances are that someone close to you has had cancer, too.

Poor nutrition may raise the risk for breast cancer and other forms of cancer. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I’m passionate about educating people how to reduce their risk through diet and nutrition.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), a nutrient-rich diet that includes fruit, vegetables, fish, and poultry has also been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer. The risk of mouth and esophagus cancers may be reduced by a diet high in vegetables and fruits. A diet high in certain vegetables, such as tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, beans and other legumes, as well as fish, may lower the risk of prostate cancer.

So, how can you reduce your risk for cancer? The ACS recommends the following:

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods
  • If you drink alcohol, limit your intake

Remember that old saying, “You are what you eat?” Food is fuel for your body, mind and soul. My personal advice: nourish your body, mind and soul by eating nutrient-dense, real food. The fewer highly processed convenience foods you eat, the better you will feel.

One last thought, being aware of the health history of close family members is important. Knowing if your parents, grandparents or siblings had cancer, cardiovascular disease or any chronic or autoimmune illness may help guide you on your path to good health.

Lisa Perry
Registered dietitian nutritionist who believes proper nutrition has the power to transform health. Loves dark chocolate.