The link between nutrition and cancer prevention has been well established, but there is still so much more to learn in terms of maximizing these health benefits.

Recently, Michelle Bratton, a clinical nutritionist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, spoke with Connecticut-based freelance writer John Lahtinen about the relationship between inflammation and cancer risk for PinkRibbonCooking.com.

“It has been theorized that an anti-inflammatory diet will lead to an environment within the body that will be less conducive for cancer cells to grow and multiply,” Bratton said. “Therefore, it may be a reasonable approach to reduce risk of cancer.”

Lahtinen writes: “While acute inflammation, typically characterized by swelling, redness, and stiffness, is a very natural way for the body to protect and heal itself, chronic low-grade inflammation is decidedly more troublesome, being associated with inflamed arteries, asthma, autoimmune disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, among other ailments.”

These anti-inflammatory foods are often used as key components in the Mediterranean diet, which has been found to have numerous health benefits. Certain food items, herbs, and spices with anti-inflammatory properties include:

  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • fish
  • olive, canola, or flaxseed oil,
  • turmeric
  • cayenne pepper
  • mint
  • thyme
  • garlic
  • dark chocolate
  • whole grains

So if you and your loved ones are looking for ways to help keep your body healthy while reducing your risk for cancer, speak to a nutritionist and seek out foods that reduce chronic, low-grade inflammation.

• Exploring Inflammation and Breast Cancer, PinkRibbonCooking.com, July 15, 2014



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