Nutrition and Cancer Risk

multi ethnic people cancer exercise training institute

Only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their roots in the environment and lifestyle. I have 20 first degree relatives who have had some type of cancer. I had a genetic panel done and I do not carry the known cancer genes! I was shocked. This leads me to my next paragraph.

The lifestyle factors include cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity. The evidence indicates that of all cancer-related deaths, almost 25–30% are due to tobacco, as many as 30–35% are linked to diet, about 15–20% are due to infections, and the remaining percentage are due to other factors like radiation, stress, physical activity, environmental pollutants etc.

Therefore, cancer prevention requires smoking cessation, increased ingestion of fruits and vegetables, moderate use of alcohol, caloric restriction, exercise, avoidance of direct exposure to sunlight, minimal meat consumption, use of whole grains, use of vaccinations, and regular check-ups.

Extensive research has revealed that a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, spices, and grains has the potential to prevent cancer. The specific substances in these dietary foods that are responsible for preventing cancer and the mechanisms by which they achieve this have also been examined extensively. Various phytochemicals have been identified in fruits, vegetables, spices, and grains that exhibit chemopreventive potential, and numerous studies have shown that a proper diet can help protect against cancer (1,2,5).

The protective role of fruits and vegetables against cancers that occur in various anatomical sites is now well supported (1,2). In 1966, Wattenberg (3) proposed for the first time that the regular consumption of certain constituents in fruits and vegetables might provide protection from cancer. Doll and Peto (4) showed that 75–80% of cancer cases diagnosed in the USA in 1981 might have been prevented by lifestyle changes. According to a 1997 estimate, approximately 30–40% of cancer cases worldwide were preventable by feasible dietary means. Several studies have addressed the cancer chemopreventive effects of the active components derived from fruits and vegetables. Case-control studies by Riboli and Norat, overall, support a significant reduction in the risks of cancers of the esophagus, lung, stomach, and colorectum associated with both fruit and vegetables; breast cancer is associated with vegetables but not with fruit; and bladder cancer is associated with fruit but not with vegetables (6).

Top Foods that Fight Cancer

  • Apple
  • Berries
  • Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables
  • Cherries
  • Coffee
  • Cranberries
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes and grape juice
  • Legumes (dry beans, peas, and lentils)
  • Soy
  • Squash (winter)
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Whole grains

12/18 of the top cancer-fighting foods happen to be fruits and  vegetables. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (a condition of increased oxidant production in animal cells characterized by the release of free radicals and resulting in cellular degeneration) and help you maintain optimal health.

led by scientists from Imperial College London -which analysed 95 studies on fruit and vegetable intake, show that a fruit and vegetable intake above five-a-day shows major benefit in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death. The team found that although even the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day reduced disease risk, the greatest benefit came from eating ten portions of fruits and vegetables per day. The USDA recommends eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The study, which was a meta-analysis of all available research in populations worldwide, included up to 2 million people, and assessed up to 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 deaths.

The research team estimate approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could be potentially prevented every year if people ate 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The benefits include:

  • a 24% reduced risk of heart disease
  • a 33% reduced risk of stroke
  • a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • a 13% reduced risk of total cancer
  • a 31% reduction in dying prematurely

*This risk was calculated in comparison to not eating any fruit and vegetables

Several years ago I was approached by an oncology nurse friend of mine who was raving about a product called Juice Plus+. She knew my history as a cancer survivor and also knew that I wasn’t getting the recommended 5, let alone 10, servings of fruits and vegetable per day. I balked at the idea of any type of multi-level marketing product; regardless of how amazing she claimed it was. Fast forward 2017…..Neither my diabetic son (who happens to be a college basketball player), my high school basketball player daughter, myself, or my husband were eating more than three servings of fruits and vegetables per day. We were all tired, low energy, not sleeping well, and our hair, skin, and nails, were dry, brittle, and unhealthy. I took a long hard look at my diet; I think I eat really well, but upon further analysis, I begin my day with artificial sweeteners and caffeine, followed by a packaged/processed protein bar with artificial sweetener, and so on and so on.I don;t eat much fruit because I feel I will gain weight. I don’t eat many vegetables because I really don’t like them that much! I remembered Juice Plus+ and, ironically, one of my students was a distributor. I agreed to give it a whirl.

Juice Plus+ provides the vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients from thirty different fruits and vegetables in an inexpensive and easy to take supplement. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and that my family and I are now on the road to optimal health. It didn’t take long to notice the difference in the way we physically looked as well as our increased energy and improved sleep! Juice Plus+ is a ‘no brainer!’

To learn more about Juice Plus+ and read their amazing worldwide studies, including Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Publishing in the March 2012 issue of the Gynecologic Oncology Journal, please click on this rainbow heart below, or email me at plus cancer exercise training institute

Numerous clinical studies report increased levels of key antioxidants in the bloodstream after taking Juice Plus+.

University of Texas/MD Anderson Cancer Center
Nemours Children’s Clinic
Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Japan
Medical University of Vienna, Austria
University of South Carolina
University of Florida
University of Sydney, Australia
King’s College, London
University of Arizona
Brigham Young University


1. D. Divisi, S. Di Tommaso, S. Salvemini, M. Garramone, and R. Crisci. Diet and cancer. Acta Biomed. 77:118–123 (2006).

2. H. Vainio, and E. Weiderpass. Fruit and vegetables in cancer prevention. Nutr. Cancer. 54:111–42 (2006) doi:10.1207/s15327914nc5401_13.

3. L. W. Wattenberg. Chemoprophylaxis of carcinogenesis: a review. Cancer Res. 26:1520–1526 (1966).

4. R. Doll, and R. Peto. The causes of cancer: quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 66:1191–308 (1981).

5. K. A. Steinmetz, and J. D. Potter. Vegetables, fruit, and cancer prevention: a review. J. Am. Diet Assoc.96:1027–1039 (1996) doi:10.1016/S0002–8223(96)00273-8.

6. Elio Riboli and Teresa Norat. Epidemiologic evidence of the protective effect of fruit and vegetables on cancer risk. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.Vol 78 #3 (2003)