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WHOLE GRAINS -- FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER


OTHER FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER


NOTE: No single food or food substances can protect you against cancer. But scientists believe that the right combination of foods in a predominantly plant-based diet may. Evidence is mounting that the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in plant foods interact to provide extra cancer protection. This concept is called synergy. In addition, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are low-energy-dense, low calorie foods and probably protect against weight gain. According to the Second Expert Report, experts believe that weight gain particularly obesity and overweight are implicated in the development of cancer. Eating a predominantly plant based diet can help prevent weight gain and therefore protect against those cancers whose risk is convincingly increased by higher body fat (namely cancers of the colorectum, esophagus, endometrium, pancreas, kidney, and breast in postmenopausal women). That is why AICR recommends that at least 2/3 of your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.

Whole Grains

The term “whole grain” means that all three parts of the grain kernel (germ, bran and endosperm) are included. Refined grains usually have the bran and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Brown rice is a whole grain, white rice is not. Other whole-grain foods include wheat breads, rolls, pasta and cereals; whole grain oat cereals such as oatmeal, popcorn, wild rice, tortilla and tortilla chips, corn, kasha (roasted buckwheat) and tabouleh (bulghur wheat).

Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and hundreds of natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals, which protect cells from the types of damage that may lead to cancer. In addition research points to specific substances in whole grains that have been linked to lower cancer risk, including antioxidants, phenols, lignans, phytoestrogens and saponins.

AICR's second expert report, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, found probable evidence that foods containing dietary fiber, like whole grains, can decrease one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Moreover, limiting energy dense foods and eating a predominantly plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans can help with weight maintenance and, in turn, may decrease your risk of developing cancer.

The Research

AICR has funded research on the following topics relating to whole grains and the cancer-fighting components they contain. Click each topic to search for relevant AICR-funded research studies performed to date.

Read the full list of AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

 



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