Adding a variety of vegetables to one's diet may help decrease the chance of getting lung cancer, and adding a variety of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of squamous cell lung cancer, especially among smokers according to a study published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention,
Researchers led by H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, project director of cancer epidemiology at The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in The Netherlands analyzed data on more than 450,000 adults from 10 European countries. Participants filled out questionnaires about dietary habits and lifestyle, including occupation, medical history, tobacco and alcohol use and physical activity.
Over the course of nine years, 1,613 of the people were diagnosed with lung cancer.
Participants who ate a diet that contained a diverse mix of fruits and vegetables appeared were 27 percent less likely to get squamous cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 25 percent to 30 percent of all lung cancers, than smokers who ate the least variety.
There probably isn't one "magic" compound in the fruits and vegetables that may ward off the changes in cells that cause tumors to grow but instead many compounds that interact with each other and the body in ways that aren't yet understood.
Fruits and vegetables contain many different bioactive compounds and tobacco smoke contains a complex mixture of cancer causing agents. Therefore, it makes sense to obtain a rich mix of these bioactive compounds by consuming a large variety of fruits and vegetables to have any beneficial effect in reducing one's chance of lung cancer.
Notice the emphasis on a diversity of fruits and vegetables? Tobacco smoke contains a complex mixture of cancer causing agents. Therefore, a mixture of protective agents is needed to have any beneficial effect in reducing one's chance of lung cancer.
"It is important to realize the risk reduction one can achieve by eating a greater variety of fruits and vegetables will be minor in relation to quitting smoking," Bueno-de-Mesquita stressed.
The primary focus for reducing lung cancer incidence should continue to be smoking prevention and cessation.
Fruits and Vegetables Can Protect Your Health
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can also help prevent obesity, which is a risk factor for certain cancers.
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.
Quitting smoking is all about beating the beasts in your brain.