The following are but few of the many claims on certain foods widely publicized in relation to cancer. Is there enough evidence for such claims? Coffee has been reported to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer but more studies are needed before a conclusion can be made on the link between coffee and cancer. Coffee contains antioxidants that may protect the body from free radicals. The roasting process accordingly produces acrylamide which is among those listed as probable cancer-causing substances. Other sources of acrylamide include cigarette smoke; industrial processes, such as making plastic, paper, and dyes; and starchy foods that need cooking at a high temperature, for example, fries and potato chips. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that acrylamide is also present in some food packaging, and some adhesives.
Guyabano or soursop has long been promoted online as a cancer cure causing some to consume it in either fresh fruit or leaves, or pulverized leaves in capsule. Some drink quyabano tea daily. While laboratory studies have shown the potential of anti-cancer effects, adequate studies among humans need to be conducted before conclusions can be made. By the way, not all that is natural is good.
Processed meat like bacon, salami, tocino and others, had long been listed as carcinogenic or known to cause cancer. Avoid them! Red meats such as beef, pork and lamb are included as probably carcinogenic. Certain chemicals added during processing or naturally found in, or produced during digestion of these foods can harm the intestines. Go for chicken and fish. Consume very little red meat or eat occasionally only but in limited amounts, if you have to.
What about breast cancer and soy which is found naturally in soybeans, soy milk, soy sauce, tofu and miso? The estrogen-like isoflavones in soy may be a worry to some who think it may be linked to breast cancer. The American Cancer of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) noted that no studies have shown a link between soy and breast cancer. While few research suggest a protective effect against breast cancer, more research has to prove it. Nonetheless, soy products being plant-based may be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Legumes which include soybeans should be part of the weekly diet.
In the end, for lifetime protection and from childhood, we go back to principles of a healthy diet – adequacy, moderation, variety and balance, nutrient density and calorie control. Our food should be able to provide all the nutrients we need daily which can be done by eating different kinds of food because no single food provides all that we need. Recommended quantities per food group be observed as either lack or excess can not be good. There remains the need for proper information and with online sources at hand, one should be able to distinguish which source(s) or information are reliable or not. Claims on health are to be supported by adequate and quality evidence from researches done on human beings.