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Plant power: Using diet to lower cancer risk

Phytochemicals offer many benefits. In addition to protecting from damage, they decrease inflammation and interrupt processes in the body that encourages cancer production. Photo: Pexels

(Grace Fjeldberg/ Mayo Clinic)-– The choices you make at the grocery store have a bigger impact than just your dinner plans. Filling your plate with foods that are grown in the ground may be the best diet for cancer prevention.

An estimated 1.9 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2022, according to the American Cancer Society. While some people have a higher genetic risk to develop cancer, research shows that nearly 25% of overall cancer cases could be prevented with diet and nutrition alone. Many cancers can take 10 or more years to develop, so everyday nutrition choices are crucial in cancer prevention.

Plant-based diets are full of fruits, vegetables and legumes, with little or no meat or other animal products. In research studies, vegans, people who don’t eat any animal products, including fish, dairy or eggs, appeared to have the lowest rates of cancer of any diet. The next lowest rate was for vegetarians, people who avoid meat but may eat fish or foods that come from animals, such as milk or eggs. (…)