Cancer and Food

Cancer and Food

February 15, 2024 0 By Lewys Huffman

Salmon, berries, broccoli, and kale are among the many nutritious powerhouses we encounter daily in our diets, but other foods, like cauliflower and its relatives can also play an integral part in helping fight cancer.

On meal prep day, focus on proteins like chicken and fish; whole grains; and veggies that can easily be combined into salads or stir-fries. Avoid fried foods as these could contain carcinogens.


Food provides essential nutrition and energy needed for human life, playing an integral part in culture identity and social status. Prehistoric humans relied on foraging from nature for sustenance before cultivating crops and raising animals as sources of sustenance.

Modern foods are typically highly processed and may include additives or other non-natural ingredients not found in nature, including flavorings and preservatives such as salt and sugar; chemicals, such as pesticides; and synthetic substances like hormones and antibiotics.

A healthy diet involves choosing from a range of food, rather than one or two specialized categories. An eating pattern which excludes meat is known as vegetarianism; dairy and eggs may still be included. An omnivorous approach includes both plant and animal products in one’s diet for maximum nutrition benefits and overall wellbeing. A variety of food sources provides the body with essential nutrients necessary for good health.


Food comes in three main categories: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbs can be found in grains, fruits and vegetables while proteins come from meat, fish, dairy products and eggs; while fats provide energy as well as support cell functions.

People can select food based on their beliefs and values. For instance, vegetarians forgo all meat, fish and dairy products while vegans don’t consume any animal byproducts such as honey. Others select food for its health benefits or environmental impact – for instance many people opt for organic produce since it does not contain synthetic fertilizers or pesticides while following the locavore movement to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Domesticated animals account for most of the meat consumed worldwide, such as chicken, pork, beef and lamb. Fish and shellfish also provide valuable sources of protein; while some cultures also rely on plant-based sources like soy and beans.


At the turn of the 20th century, people enjoyed eating a wider range of food than ever before. This trend can be partly attributed to refrigerators and microwave ovens allowing people to keep food longer, but also because many national cuisines had their origins in immigrants; for instance, chicken tikka masala came to Britain via immigrants from Pakistan.

Before recently, most food plants cultivated for cultivation were limited to their initial regions or surrounding regions. With the Columbian Exchange’s rapid global trade routes enabling crops to migrate rapidly around the globe – consumers may not realize that potatoes originated in Ireland while tomatoes came from Italy and chilli peppers from Thailand!

Nikolai Vavilov popularized the concept of crop plant ‘centers of origin’ during his 1920s explorations of Russia. According to Vavilov’s definitions, these regions mark where domesticated crops first established themselves while still possessing the greatest diversity.


Food serves a multitude of roles beyond merely providing energy and nutrients; it brings people together at meals and strengthens social bonds; different foods have cultural significance in rituals and traditions.

While more people are making an effort to consume healthier diets, many still fail to meet the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables, salt, sugar, red meat or vegetable oils. Unfortunately, availability, cost and marketing all influence consumption of unhealthy food products.

Food consumption data varies considerably and often remains inconsistent across countries. To capture accurate and relevant data, national surveys using a seven day weighed food record method would provide the best result; however, this can be costly and time consuming to conduct. An alternative would be using a Food Consumption Score (FCS), which aggregates household level consumption of key groups of foods with weights assigned according to nutritional value – see further down for an explanation on their calculation and use.