Food provides us with important nutrients and energy to fuel our day. Cancer wise, a deficiency or over abundance creates a favorable environment for cancer development. A US nutritional report says that most Americans get adequate vitamins and minerals on average. However, 10 percent of children and pre-menopausal women are low in Vitamin B6, Vitamin D and iron. What’s more, women between 20-39 years of age are barely adequate on their iodine intake. We aren’t even talking about phytochemicals present in functional food we eat rarely.
Supplements can create a hole in our diet
Rushing to consume supplements to correct these deficiencies can be a big mistake. Taking supplements makes us at risk for an overdose of a specific nutrient. Moreover, if we depend on supplements for our recommended dosages of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients instead of eating a healthy balanced diet we miss out on powerful functional foods that fight cancer.
Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin. It plays a role in about 100 reactions that involve protein metabolism in our bodies. We can readily get this by consuming chickpeas, salmon, chicken breast, banana, spinach and winter squash
Iodine is important for the production of thyroid hormone. This hormone plays a crucial role in our body’s metabolism. Thyroid hormones act on our energy levels and awareness too. Iodine is present in sea foods, yoghurt, eggs, prunes, lima beans and of course, sea salt.
Iron on the other hand is very important to deliver oxygen to our cells for energy. Turkey, dark meat, steak, chicken, beans, spinach and whole wheat bread are significant sources of iron. Now, consume an adequate amount of vitamin C rich foods like lemon, oranges, kiwis or small berries to improve the absorption of iron. Vitamin C improves our ability to extract iron from food.
Vitamin D maintains bone health. It’s labeled as a vitamin but experts say it acts more like a hormone and plays various roles in metabolism. Most especially, it controls the level of inflammation in our bodies. Cold sea fish cod, mackerel, salmon, tuna, fortified foods like milk products and cereals, and eggs are good sources of Vitamin D. But sourcing Vitamin D from food is quite difficult. The best way to get an adequate amount of vitamin D is through sun exposure for at least 10 minutes at noontime with light clothing on. In wintertime, when it’s dark and the sun doesn’t shine as much, it’s best to take a supplement which is the only supplement that we feel fine to take.
The best way to avoid nutritional deficiencies is to eat a variety of foods every day. A mix of different foods is our best chance to fight cancer and avoid deficiencies too. Consuming 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is a good start. Then, exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Eat three square meals a day – breakfast, diner and supper. Don’t forget our breakfast!