The Promising Reduction In Gastric Cancer Rates
The news is full of frightening statistics about cancer and other diseases. From what we read and hear on television, we are led to believe that more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer and that more and more people are dying from it.
In some cases, this is true. Incidences of and deaths from cancer have risen every year for the last fifty. However, don’t let this lead you to believe that no progress is being made.
Let’s take a look at gastric cancer, for example. Gastric cancers were once the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and in many other countries, too. However, since 1930, the incidence of and number of deaths related to gastric cancer have steadily decreased.
By 1994, gastric cancer was the eighth leading cause of cancer death in the US and the statistics appear to continue to be on the decline. So, why are we seeing less gastric cancer today than before? Well, the medical community doesn’t appear to have made any definite conclusions, but there are some factors that are believed to be contributing to this promising trend.
The number one reason doctors believe that gastric cancer is on the decline is the higher consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet and the lower consumption of foods that are preserved by salt. Years ago, refrigeration in the home was not common, so keeping fruits and vegetables at the ready was not easy. And, it was common to preserve meats and some other foods with salt rather than freezing them.
When the ability to refrigerate and freeze foods in the home became commonplace, the American diet changed. We began to eat more fruits and vegetables and freeze our meat instead of curing it. So, how does this help reduce our risk of cancer?
Well, it’s actually quite simple. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables means a diet rich in anti-oxidants. Each day, as we convert the foods we eat into energy, we create free radicals in our body. These free radicals can damage our cells and our DNA. Unchecked free radicals are believed to contribute to the development of cancer and other diseases.
Anti-oxidants are excellent at combating free radicals. A diet rich in anti-oxidants is linked with preventing cancer, heart disease, cholesterol problems and a lower incidence of stroke.
So, if you’re interested in reducing your risk of cancer, be sure your diet is rich in anti-oxidants on a daily basis. Some of foods highest in anti-oxidants are:
Small Red Bean (dried)
Red kidney bean (dried)
Russet potato (cooked)
Black bean (dried)
So, if you want to improve your health, and reduce your risk of cancer, these fruits should be staples in your diet. And, there’s another way you can get your daily dose of anti-oxidants; one you might not have thought of.
Green Tea is High in Anti-Oxidants
Green tea has been widely used in Asian cultures for centuries to prevent illness and to treat it, as well. And, many recent studies have linked green tea with the prevention of cancer, and, in some cases have even found green tea to be helpful in the treatment of cancer.
Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. There are many different types of tea; most of the differences come from the way the tea is processed. Tea leaves contain very powerful anti-oxidants in their natural state.
Fermenting tea leaves, which is part of processing tea leaves for black tea, converts these catechins to other compounds and reduces their health benefits. Therefore, green tea, because it is not fermented, retains more of its original anti-oxidants than black tea.
In every part of the world except Asia, black tea varieties are far more widely consumed than green tea. And, black tea is healthy. However, because green tea undergoes less processing, it far outranks black tea in its ability to provide anti-oxidants, and thereby, prevent disease.
Asian cultures have a far lower incidence of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and cancer. And, while there are likely other cultural and environmental factors that contribute to their lower incidence of disease; their high consumption of green tea is considered a significant factor. In fact, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.
So, if you’d like to reduce your risk of developing cancer and other diseases that often plague us as we get older, eat and drink up. Get your daily fill of fruits and vegetables. And, wash it down with green tea! You’ll be doing your part to ensure you live a long and healthy life!