National Nutrition Month – Foods That Lower Lung Cancer Risk
By Lynne Eldridge MD – March 14th, 2012
During National Nutrition Month we’re hearing a lot about how to eat. But what if you have a special concern? What if you’re worried about developing lung cancer?
Your concern might not stem from a history of smoking. Smoking is only one cause of lung cancer. Perhaps you have a strong family history of lung cancer. We know that lung cancer can be hereditary. Perhaps you were exposed to a high radon level in your home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
If you’re one of the above – you may be lucky.
I’ll explain. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. 20% of women who develop lung cancer have never smoked at all. Anybody can get lung cancer. So why not look at easy ways to lower risk?
This month is a great time to start. While a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for anyone, there are certain foods that may lower lung cancer risk when consumed regularly. These include:
- Dairy products (for women) – A nice dish of vanilla yogurt with raspberries and blueberries sounds good to me right now.
- Foods high in lutein
Spinach, broccoli, and collard greens are high in lutein and should make a good salad mix for my family tomorrow night.
- Foods high in lycopene. Tomato’s are high in lycopene, but sauces are even higher. Time to plan an Italian entrée for tomorrow night to go with that salad.
- A cup of tea. Black tea seems to lower lung cancer risk in non-smokers, whereas green tea appears to be the steep of choice for those who smoke.
- I can’t forget the apple a day. The National Cancer Institute states that foods high in flavenoids such as apples may reduce the risk of lung cancer up to 50%.
Now that my mouth is watering it’s time to see if any new foods have been deemed lung cancer prevention foods. I’ll let you know what I find.
Eating lots of healthy foods can’t hurt, right? And if that helps prevent or slow the onset of any type of cancer, I’m all for it!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat