Wanting to avoid an oral cancer diagnosis? According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnosis, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Even though the exact cause of oral cancer is not always known, a poor diet is a common risk factor.
How a healthy diet could lower one’s risk of oral cancer
Looking for ways to prevent oral cancer? When you take the initiative to educate yourself more on preventative dental issues, you are much less likely to be diagnosed with any type of dental-related problem. Consuming an overall healthy diet can potentially lower your risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer. Certain foods contain components, called chemo-protective agents, that help the body fight off cancers. These chemo-protective agents include antioxidants, a term people are more familiar with.
A healthy diet includes foods high in antioxidants
Foods that contain a high amount of antioxidants help defend the body’s cells from becoming damaged by outside forces, with most antioxidants being found in fruits and vegetables. New research on additional compounds found in fruits and vegetables is phytochemicals. These naturally occur in plants, with high amounts particularly being found in fruits, vegetables and leafy greens.
The following is a list of foods that make up a healthy diet. Every food item on the list includes the chemo-protective agents, antioxidants and/or phytochemicals that help lower one’s risk of oral cancer.
Recommended fruits that lower one’s risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer include blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, apples, oranges, lemons, pink grapefruit, pears, celery, cantaloupe and apricots. These fruits are also high in carotenoids, further helping prevent cancers of the mouth. Eating between three and four cups of fruit every day is suggested in order to reap the full benefits.
Recommended vegetables include artichokes, onions, garlic, spinach, broccoli, Bok choy, brussels sprouts, turnips and tomatoes. Eating these vegetables in their raw state vs. cooked allows for the highest consumption of the vitamins and minerals contained within. A minimum of three cups of vegetables every day is necessary to experience all the antioxidants that vegetables provide.
Recommended leafy greens include sprouts, radish, kale, watercress and cauliflower. Leafy greens contain a high amount of phytochemicals and are therefore known to reduce the odds of someone being diagnosed with oral cancer. Leafy greens need to be eaten five to six times a week in order to experience the benefits.
Need an oral cancer screening?
Are you currently in need of an oral cancer screening? If you have not received a screening for oral cancer in more than a year, then making an appointment with us to perform this important evaluation is essential to your good oral health. If we happen to see any signs of oral cancer, we will discuss our findings with you and accordingly create a treatment plan so you can get back on your path to good oral health.
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