There is a close association between nutrient deficiency and cancer incidence. Many studies have found that nutrient deficiency can increase the risk of cancer and a lack of nutrient is more likely to increase the risk of getting certain cancer. Here list some cancers associated with certain nutrient deficiency and some sources of these nutrients.
β-carotene deficiency increases the risk of lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of the death around the world. Apart from smoking, the lack of nutrients like β-carotene, vitamins A, C, E and micronutrient Selenium, is responsible for cancer development. People should eat more foods rich in these nutrients, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mango, papaya and so on.
High-quality protein deficiency increases the risk of gastric cancer
According to a number of epidemiological studies, gastric cancer is correlated with poor dietary nutrition, especially with a lower proportion of high-quality protein. Some good sources of high-quality protein include fish, poultry, dairy products like skim milk, cheese and yogurt, beans, nuts and seeds. Low-quality protein like processed meats loaded with salts has also been linked with an increased risk of cancer. Studies found that there is an increasing incidence of gastric cancer, largely due to a high intake of salt. Individuals who want to prevent gastric cancer are highly advised to reduce the intake of salt and avoid salty processed foods.
Fiber deficiency increases the risk of colon cancer
Diets with high fat and protein and low fiber are popular among the new generation of people. However, these high-fat and protein foods decompose and generate more carcinogens leading to cancer. Dietary fiber-rich foods such as barley, beans, carrots, citrus, and oats are more desirable for people who have overweight or obese problems.
Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer
A number of surveys have shown that vitamin D levels are lower in patients with breast cancer and colon cancer. Canadian researchers also found that vitamin D-deficient women with breast cancer are more likely to die from cancer. Natural foods such as fish, beef, pork liver, egg yolk, etc. contain rich vitamin D and they must be eaten more. Also, the sun can help the body to synthesize more vitamin D.
Cancer and diet have an inseparable relationship and a healthy diet can supplement nutrients that help prevent cancer. Keep in mind that you are what you eat and make a wise decision on what compose of your diets.