The National Cancer Institute estimates that 1,334,100 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2003. This is a daunting figure, particularly since more than 17 million cases have been diagnosed since 1990. Based on these figures, it is no wonder that the publishing industry is inundated with books offering advice and suggestions about how to prevent the onset of the disease. In Foods That Combat Cancer: The Nutritional Way to Wellness, author Maggie Greenwood-Robinson wades through the extensive (and sometimes overwhelming) cancer research and masterfully extracts some straight-forward and simple ways people can minimize their risks of becoming afflicted with the disease.
Since the guide’s author has a doctorate in Nutritional Counseling and suggests that approximately 70 percent of all cancer cases can be linked to a poor diet, it comes as no surprise that her book focuses on reaping the benefits of readily available cancer-fighting foods. Her simple suggestions are even more enticing in light of her findings that if you exercise, maintain a healthy weight, refrain from smoking, and eat right, you can reduce your risk of cancer by 70 percent.
The book provides a brief explanation of the types of foods that have been shown to minimize the occurrences of specific types of cancers. From there, Greenwood-Robinson illustrates how to effortlessly introduce these foods into one’s diet. She explains the potential benefits at each stage of the process -- from the selection and washing of food, to the storing, preparing and serving of it. There is also a discussion about incorporating certain vitamins and minerals into one’s diet and, for those who are reluctant to take daily supplements, she provides ways to ensure comparable benefits are achieved through proper food choices.
All of author’s suggestions serve as the foundation for following her 10-step cancer-fighting plan. She boils down her findings into these ten basic principles and reinforces the point that all can be accomplished by using the techniques she presents in the first component of her book. Specifically, she claims that people can reduce their overall risk of getting the disease by engaging in the following:
The guide is a extremely brief -- even significantly shorter than it looks when you discover that the written text ends on page 75 of this 224-page book. (The last two-thirds of the book merely presents tables listing the amounts of beneficial nutrients found in most common foods as well as brand names). The brevity of this book is welcoming, however, since if offers concrete ideas in a non-threatening, simple manner. Just as enticing is the fact that this book is a positive one, taking attention away from stark reality that there is no clear cause or cure for cancer and redirecting our energies towards the information we do know and how to make the make the most of it.
- Slashing the fat;
- Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day;
- Eating tomatoes or tomato products at least twice a week;
- Going with grains, legumes and root vegetables seven (!) or more times a day;
- Getting your fiber fix – between 25 and 35 grams per day;
- Enjoying soy at least once a day;
- Dishing out more fish ---two to three times per week;
- Eating low-fat dairy at least twice a day;
- Watering your body; and
- Limiting or avoiding cancer-causing substances.
The book may only be a small step in the battle against the disease, but it is certainly one worth taking.