This blog is an extension to the recent video posted by ESN featuring Ben and Emilie. If you haven’t seen it – check it out here!
November is prostate cancer awareness month. Prostate cancer is the number one cancer risk for men, and the number two cancer killer second to lung cancer. Prostate cancer often occurs without any symptoms which is why many people don’t discover it until much further along the disease process.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that almost 3 million deaths from both cancer and other diseases are linked to low fruit and vegetable intake. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. Our body’s cells have a natural defense strategy against free radicals (which can cause cell damage and may play a role in the development of cancer). Free radicals can be caused by things like pollution, cigarette smoke, or even the natural process of aging. Our body has its own defense mechanism to help repair some the damage caused by these free radicals. Antioxidants can help reinforce this protective mechanism.
There are many different kinds of antioxidants that can be found in many different foods. Below are some antioxidants and where you can find them:
Red and yellow peppers, oranges, papaya, kiwis
Almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ
Brazil nuts, tuna, eggs, oysters
Dark berries and eggplant contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid found in dark red/purple coloured fruits and vegetables
Green tea and cocoa contain catechins, another type of flavonoid found in various foods and drink derived from pants
Guava, watermelon, cooked tomato, and grapefruit contain a caretonoid called lycopene giving food that vibrant red pigment
Sweet potato, orange, and carrot contain a carotenoid called beta-carotene, giving food their bright orange colour
As you can see, there are a ton of food sources of antioxidants. If at this point you are thinking about taking an antioxidant supplement to really boost your protection against cancer, be cautious. Some antioxidant supplements may have higher amounts than you need, which means you could cause pro-oxidative damage (ironically exactly what you were trying to prevent!). And besides, antioxidants are best ingested through food rather than supplements.
If you have any questions about cancer prevent or other nutrition-related inquiries, connect with ESN today to get started with one of our fabulous Sports Dietitians!
Emilie Trottier, BASc, RD, Sports Dietitian
Sports Dietitian with Evolved Sport and Nutrition
Complete Lifestyle Management