Values of Fruits and Vegetables

People whose diet is rich in fruits and vegetables (5 to 9 servings a day) have a lower risk of getting cancers of the lung, mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum. They are also less likely to get cancers of the breast, pancreas, ovaries, larynx, and bladder. There is no specific fruit or vegetable responsible for reducing cancer risk; instead, research shows that it is the regular consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables that reduces risk.
An expert report, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, reviewed over 4,500 world-wide research studies and has found that if people increase their fruit and vegetable consumption to at least five servings a day, cancer rates could be reduced by more than 20 percent.
A new survey from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) shows that 72 percent of Americans still eat meals with a high proportion of meat, poultry, fish and dairy foods and not enough vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. This unbalanced eating style significantly increases a person's risk for cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

You should think of eating as a way to bolster your body's natural defenses. The vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting phytochemicals found in plant foods can protect your health and improve your well being. By gradually eating more plant foods and less meat, the transition to a healthy, mostly plant-based diet will become a habit in time.
Two studies appearing in the January 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) investigated the relationship between specific dietary factors (meat intake and fruit/vegetable intake, respectively) and cancer risk. Both papers are valuable contributions to the ever-growing scientific literature on this vital topic.
When these new studies are considered, in light of research that has come before, one thing becomes clear: the best available advice to lower the risk for cancer is unchanged. Eating a plant-based diet, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking remain the most important things individuals can do to stop cancer before it starts
Using a new method, researchers have discovered that whole grains like whole wheat, oats and brown rice can have as much - or more - antioxidant, anti-cancer activity as vegetables and fruits. Previously, the antioxidant potential of whole grains was underestimated because scientists did not know how to measure it.
In the past, fiber was considered the primary health benefit of whole grains. But now it appears that the antioxidants in whole grains are just as important. In fact, the combination of antioxidants, fiber and other natural substances in whole grains may work together to give you even greater health protection. According to Dr. Rui Hai Liu, researcher at Cornell University, the difference in antioxidant composition between vegetables, fruits and whole grains is dramatic. He and his colleagues found that the "free" form of one major class of phytochemicals made up 76 percent of the total amount present in common vegetables. In whole grains, on the other hand, the "free" phytochemicals accounted for less than 1 percent of the total. Ninety-nine percent were in the "bound" form.

The key to the cancer-fighting potential of whole grains may lie in their wholeness. Each whole grain is composed of three parts: endosperm, bran and germ. When wheat - or any grain - is refined, the bran and germ are normally removed. Although these two parts make up only 15 to 17 percent of the weight of whole-wheat grains, most of the protective phytochemicals are in them, as well as the fiber.

Dr. Liu, whose work has been funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), believes that his findings may partially explain why diets high in whole grains can help reduce the incidence of colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan

The Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control (CNCCC) Project assists in the development of networks and collaboration that produce an infrastructure for a comprehensive approach to cancer within the Cherokee Nation. Since 2003, coalition members and partners have come together to discuss the burden of cancer in Cherokee Nation. Coalition members and partners include local, regional, state and national representatives committed to identifying areas of cancer concern, planning interventions, prioritizing greatest areas of identified need, and then implementing identified strategies and/or providing needed resources. This is the second edition of the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and will serve, like the first, as an information resource for health care professionals and community members, as well as a tool for the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and its respective entities. The coalition is committed to the process of enhancing infrastructure for comprehensive cancer control in the Cherokee Nation with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality among the Cherokee community.