Few diseases evoke as many emotions as cancer. Dietary prevention of cancer in general had focused on basic aspects such as:
- Increase fiber intake
- Maintain an adequate and varied consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Moderate alcohol consumption.
- Moderate salt intake.
- Reduced consumption of fat.
- Increase in moderate physical activity (although it is not related to diet, it is so important that we always include it).
Due to the high incidence of cancer, and recognizing the relationship with lifestyle, today we give so much importance to prevention.
It has been known for years that adequate and daily consumption of fruits and vegetables can prevent some cancer risks by up to 70%. Thus, a relationship has also been found between high food consumption and its relationship with the incidence of the disease, for example, the consumption of sausages more than 3 times a week is related to colorectal cancer.
The relationship between cancer and food is highly defined
The main prevention comes from the antioxidants present in food. Costa Rica is a highly privileged country in access, availability and variety of foods with high antioxidant content and according to Nutrition surveys, fruit consumption does not reach 3 servings a week in the majority of the Costa Rican population. It has been proven that cell alterations that cause carcinogenic responses are neutralized by antioxidants, hence their importance.
A well-known antioxidant is honey bee flavonoids that are present as aglycones, due to the presence of some glucosidases derived from bee salivary glands, which contribute to hydrolyzing these compounds, increasing their bioavailability. Oral intake of honey has been shown to reduce the levels of major inflammatory markers and cell infiltration.
At the genetic level, the important role played by antioxidants is also seen in markers such as Interlukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which are associated with the inflammatory cellular response. One recommendation in these genetic responses is the inclusion of a strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry smoothie, either plain or frozen mixes.
It is important to remember that the frozen ones that undergo an adequate process with a rapid decrease in temperature preserve nutrients much better in many cases, this is due to the fact that they are cut fruits at their maximum point of ripeness and therefore nutrient availability. When buying at fairs, we must look for them to be produced as close to where we live, to make sure that they have not been cut too far in advance, and that they are as fresh as possible. We must also take care that they have been exposed to the sun as little as possible, because this exposure decreases their concentration in the fruit or vegetables.
In our country we have blackberries, with a very high antioxidant power, where national studies have compared the antioxidant power of a 120ml drink of blackberry juice with the most famous antioxidant, grape resveratrol, finding a similar antioxidant power. That’s right, the blackberry, that fruit that has been forgotten in Costa Rican cuisine.
Hippocrates already said it; “May your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” In recent years, food components that have a beneficial medicinal function for the human body have begun to be analyzed. These are called Nutraceuticals that prevent the progression of cancer by regulating the signal translation of cells, which is essential for the development of cancer. cancer.
Let us remember that it is a set of factors that will generate cancer prevention, for example, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle as risk factors for breast cancer; so the invitation is to lead a healthy lifestyle.