February 4, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated February 5, 2021
World cancer day: it is also about food
Cancer is a scary term that has been frightening our ears for centuries. It might not be the deadliest of diseases, but it is one of the top death factors around the world, taking the lives of both young and adults.
The choking mortality rates and the failure to come up with a cure force us to stop and think. If science is helpless in front of this curse, then what can we do?
Surely, cancer does not simply spring overnight. Carcinogenic cells are insidious, lurking within our bodies undetected until it is too late. Certain lifestyles, eating habits, and food choices affect our bodies greatly, and might eventually lead to cancer.
During world cancer day, let’s seize the opportunity together and list what we can do and what we need to avoid in order to prevent the development of cancer cells.
World cancer day: an initiative to promote collaboration.
The fourth of February, each year, marks international cancer day. The initiative was launched by the Union for International Cancer Control, in 2000. The aim is to champion and push for global awareness, bringing together governmental, nonprofit, and individual actions to reinforce efforts in the face of this threat.
Causing the death of over 9 million people each year, cancer is an imminent danger that needs to be fought. The UICC seeks to unite all initiatives around the world and reach cancer patients wherever they are to make sure they are receiving efficient and equal treatment and care.
“I am and I will” is this years’ slogan. Small actions count and each individual can make a difference and help in the fight against cancer. Regardless of profession, age, gender, and personal orientations, everyone has the potential to affect positive change.
This year is a reminder of the importance of collective efforts and togetherness, especially with the COVID 19 pandemic already destroying life as we know it.
The UICC says that at least one-third of cancers are preventable and more than 3 million lives can be saved. How can we act toward this goal?
One way to fight cancer: abide by the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet has been recognized as one of the top healthiest diets thanks to its unique combination of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. This regimen relies on foods that are rich in antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that are highly needed for the body.
Research has proved that adhering to the Mediterranean diet results in significant improvements. It helps to fight oxidative stress, cell damage, inflammations, and angiogenesis.
Consuming products rich in fiber such as whole grains and nuts, a considerable intake of vitamins, folic acid, and antioxidants mainly stemming from vegetables and fruits is key to preventing various cancer types.
The above-mentioned food options are the basis of the Mediterranean diet. A low intake of meat, rich in animal fats and oils, and consumption of omega 3 rich salmon is also characteristic of the diet. This makes the regimen on top of the healthy diets that can significantly reduce the risk of cancers alongside other chronic diseases like cardiovascular illness and diabetes.
Elements in the Mediterranean diet to consider
Garlic is highly recommended by dieticians and nutrition experts. Components of garlic such as allicin, allyl sulfides, and flavonoids can contribute significantly to the reduction of risk and possibly the treatment of cancer cells. Scientific evidence showed important effects on stomach, pancreas, and colon cancers.
Garlic is an essential stable of Mediterranean cuisines. As a Tunisian, I grew up to the excessive use of garlic in nearly all dishes. The Tunisian harissa paste is one recipe that relies heavily on garlic. The good news is that capsaicin is tremendously beneficial for heart health and assists in protecting the cells… the combination of capsaicin and garlic in this sizzling condiment is the ultimate prize.
Onion has also been found to have positive effects in killing cancer cells. Onion is part and parcel of salads and several dishes on the Mediterranean table.
Nuts like Brazil nuts almonds and walnuts are a good addition to your diet for better health conditions and potentially prevent the development of cancer cells.
Extra virgin olive oil is one health-friendly fat that you do want to add to your daily meals. In our culinary traditions, pouring olive oil in all recipes and drizzling some of it on top of any dish is common practice.
Recipes to consider on world cancer day
Mediterranean sauce with garlic: is an easy to make sauce. Put a handful of peeled garlic in a food processor, add olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of lemon juice, and then hit the on button. Enjoy a homemade sauce and appreciate its endless health benefits.
Mediterranean baked fish recipe:
·1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
·1 chopped red onion
·2 large tomatoes
·10 garlic cloves
·1/2 tablespoon capers
·1/3 cup raisins
·white fish fillet
·Fresh parsley or mint
How to prepare it?
Pour extra virgin olive oil in a pot, when it heats up add the chopped onions and toss until they turn gold. Add garlic, tomatoes, salt, spices, raisins, pepper, and capers, and leave it to boil on medium heat.
Season your fish with salt and pepper, on your cooking dish pour the prepared sauce, and then place the fish on top. Put them into the oven for about fifteen minutes.
Take out the dish, garnish with mint and parsley and serve it for your beloved ones.
World cancer day is an opportunity to remember that healthy food options make all the difference when it comes to maintaining a good shape. Adhere to the Mediterranean diet, consume healthy foods, stay in shape, and spread positive vibes around you.
One small step to take in the endeavor to fight cancer is to educate people; so follow our lead and be in the global effort to create a cancer-free world.