Lung cancer also known as lung tumor is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, among both males and females. According to the report from the National Cancer Registry Programme, about 1 in 68 males will develop lung cancer during their lifetime.
Upto 80% of lung tumors are caused by smoking. Of course, people who don’t smoke are also prone to lung tumors (being around second-hand smoke can raise your risk by up to 30%). Quitting smoking is at the top of the list when it comes to reducing the risk of tumors in the lungs.
However, incorporating simple changes in your diet can help you ensure healthy lungs and reduce your lung tumor risk.
- What is lung cancer?
- Symptoms of lung cancer
- Risk factors for lung cancer
- Superfoods that reduce your risk of developing cancer in the lungs
What is lung cancer?
Lung cancer or lung tumor occurs when the cells divide uncontrollably in the lung tissues, resulting in the growth of tumors. It can reduce a person’s ability to breathe and may spread to other parts of your body. The two major types of lung cancer are (i) small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and (ii) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Symptoms of lung cancer
People with lung cancer witness symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough that does not go away or gets worse, appetite loss, hoarseness, coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum, weight loss, chest pain, feeling tired or weak, new onset of wheezing, infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.
Risk factors for lung cancer
Increased pollution, smoking, unhealthy eating habits, exposure to secondhand smoke, personal or family history of lung cancer, previous radiation therapy to lungs, and exposure to asbestos, radon gas, and other carcinogens may make you prone to increased risk of developing lung tumors.
Superfoods that reduce your risk of developing cancer in the lungs
When it comes to lung tumors, a well-balanced diet can be a crucial part of your journey to mitigate lung tumor risk. Make these healthy superfoods a part of your daily diet.
Loaded with phenolic compounds, apples offer tremendous health benefits apart from lowering your lung tumor risk. As per a study published in “Nutrition Journal”, women who ate one serving of apples per day were found to decrease their risk of developing tumors in the lungs.
You can find onion in almost every Indian kitchen. This superfood contains quercetin, the anti-cancer flavonoid. Consuming more onion has been found to lower the risk of developing this potentially fatal type of cancer.
Tomato contains lycopene, a natural pigment that gives this juicy vegetable its natural red color. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that people consuming a tomato-rich diet, containing elevated levels of lycopene, displayed a reduced risk of lung tumor.
Apart from giving a flavor boost to your meals, garlic (rich in organo-sulfur compounds) can also aid you to drop your risk of lung cancer. In a study published in “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention”, raw garlic intake was found to be linked with lowered risk of lung cancer in the Chinese population.
Another study depicted that individuals who ate raw garlic two or more times per week reduced their risk of developing lung tumors by 44%.
This cancer-fighting compound contains 6-shogaol that may help reduce your risk of suffering from lung tumors.
Fish is rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids that have been related to reduced cancer risk. A meta-analysis published in “Nutrition and Cancer” indicated high fish consumption to be substantially associated with a declined risk of lung cancer.
The omega-3-fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in fish were found to induce apoptosis in human lung cancer cell lines. In another study, fish oil was found to inhibit the growth of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines.
7. Green tea
Green tea is a healthy infusion to prevent cancer. The green tea polyphenols may shield you from lung tumors through their antioxidant and antimutagenic properties. Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate that is known to have anti-tumor effects.
A case-control study of 500 Taiwanese people depicted that at least one cup of green tea per day was linked with a 5.16-fold minimized risk of lung tumor, particularly for smokers. Thus, drinking a lot of green tea may remarkably minimize your odds of suffering from lung tumors.
8. Soy Foods
Because of its high isoflavone content, soy foods may be protective against lung cancer. A meta-analysis published in “Nutrition and Cancer” found that consumption of soy foods was inversely associated with the risk of developing lung tumors.
9. Cruciferous and green leafy vegetables
You should eat cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage, watercress, cauliflower) every day since they are loaded with isothiocyanates. This phytochemical inhibits an enzyme that activates tumor-causing agents in tobacco smoke. Thus, increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables may effectively prevent lung cancer.
A study revealed that people who ate more than 4.5 servings of raw cruciferous vegetables per month illustrated a 55% decline in lung tumor risk when compared to people who ate less than 2.5 servings per month. Cruciferous vegetables also help to fight against stomach tumors. To explore, click here!
Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and kale are rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and other antioxidants that also aid to diminish lung tumor risk.
10. Eat selenium-rich foods
Dietary supplements of selenium may lower the incidence of lung cancer. So, go for selenium-rich foods like brazil nuts, whole grains, and tuna to minimize your risk of suffering from lung tumors.
11. Diet high in fibre and yogurt
A pooled assessment of more than 1.44 million people indicated that yogurt and dietary fiber may be individually and jointly related to diminished risk of lung tumor.
Lung cancer can be fatal. It is important to maintain healthy lungs. So, eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in saturated fat, and processed or refined carbohydrates. Incorporate these tasty superfoods into your daily meals and protect yourself from deadly lung cancer.
You might be interested to know which drugs received approval to treat SCLC and NSCLC, the major types of lung cancer. Then these articles will help you – Lurbinectedin receives FDA-approval to treat metastatic SCLC and Capmatinib receives FDA approval to treat NSCLC