Are foods more effective than smoking

Smoking and Diet: How Smokers Reduce Their Risk of Cancer

It has long been proven that smoking is harmful to health and it is on every box. But it doesn't deter. But if you can't get rid of the unhealthy glow, you can at least reduce your risk of cancer - with the right diet. This is shown by an American nutrition and cancer study with over 180,000 participants. The result: smokers who frequently ate onions, apples, berries and kale, reduced the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. By almost 60 percent compared to those who rarely ate these fruits and vegetables. You can also compensate for health risks with other foods. We'll tell you the best foods for smokers. Click your way through.

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Food with anti-cancer effects

“Smokers in particular benefit from a diet rich in flavonol. Smokers who ingested many of these phytochemicals with their food were able to reduce their risk by 59 percent compared to smokers with low consumption, ”says Ute Nöthlings, who led the study in cooperation with the German Institute for Nutritional Research. In non-smoking study participants who increasingly resorted to healthy foods, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer decreased by 23 percent. Probably the effects are strongest in smokers, since this group already has an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, said Nöthlings.

Colorful and healthy

But in which foods are there particularly many of the anti-cancer substances? "The hallmark of the so-called flavonoids is that they give fruit and vegetables a strong green, yellow or blue color. This is why they are particularly found in intensely colored fruits and vegetables such as red grapes, yellow peppers, aubergines, but also in apples, pears and onions" says Isabelle Keller from the German Nutrition Society (DGE). More and more studies are proving that these plant substances have a health-promoting effect: "We suspect that their antioxidant effects have positive effects on cardiovascular diseases and some cancers," explains the nutrition expert. The healthy substances are not only found in fruit and vegetables, but also in coffee, tea, red wine and chocolate.

Chocolate protects smokers' hearts

Chocolate can also be good for smokers' hearts, as doctors found out in a study at the University Hospital Zurich. Dark chocolate can therefore have a positive effect on the risk of heart attacks in smokers. According to the results, consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 74 percent improves the function of the inner walls of the blood vessels as well as the so-called antioxidant status. At the same time, the chocolate reduces the sticking together of blood platelets. The positive effect on blood flow lasts more than eight hours, the experts said. This is presumably due to the fact that the antioxidants of the polyphenol type contained in cocoa could reduce oxidative stress. The scientists examined 25 healthy smokers with an average age of 26 years. Part of them received dark chocolate and a second part white chocolate. The beneficial influences could not be observed in this control group.

Lots of ACE but no carrots?

Beta-carotene was also considered a miracle weapon against cancer among smokers for years, until studies showed that it had no positive effects. On the contrary: smokers who consumed higher doses of the provitamin were even more likely to develop lung cancer. So is it better for smokers to avoid eating carrots and other foods high in beta-carotene? “No, these results only apply to artificial beta-carotene that smokers consume through dietary supplements, for example. You should definitely consume natural products made from carrots or other vegetables and fruits, ”explains the nutrition expert. A sufficient intake of vitamins A, C and E is also important. Because cigarette smoke stimulates the formation of cell-damaging substances, the so-called free radicals. In order to be able to bind these free radicals, the body needs vitamins A, C and E. "Since these vitamins are important free radical scavengers, smokers have an increased need here," advises Keller.

More about health:
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