The various types of cancers account for almost 13% of deaths globally. In India too, the numbers aren’t very encouraging. In 2022, the number of cancer cases was found to be 14,61,427 in the country. In fact, according to an ICMR study, one in nine persons is likely to develop cancer in their lifetime in India. The country’s cancer burden poses a challenge for its healthcare facilities and is a leading cause of morbidity.
And, if there’s anything that conventional wisdom and the Covid-19 pandemic have taught us it’s that prevention is better than cure. While you might not be able to control every health diagnosis, research shows that one can lower the risk of developing cancer by making healthier choices. These lifestyle choices range from maintaining a healthy weight, cutting down your alcohol consumption, consuming less processed foods, and adding more antioxidants to your diet.
Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the process of oxidation and function as protective agents. They shield your body from the ill effects of free radicals that are produced in the body during various chemical processes. These free radicals can hamper cells causing changes to their DNA and creating conducive conditions for the growth of tumors. There’s a lot of research currently underway to find out more about how antioxidants can help with decreasing the risk of developing cancer.
Different types of antioxidants
Apart from chemical processes, free radicals might also be generated after excessive exercise, exposure to tobacco, air pollution, or ultraviolet rays. An excessive amount of free radicals in the body can lead to oxidative stress that can lead to damage to cells and several chronic conditions. To combat this, experts recommend people ensure that they are consuming ample amounts of antioxidants. Here are a few important types of antioxidants and how they can help potentially prevent cancer:
While there is no prescribed dietary allowance for antioxidants, it’s better not to overconsume anything. If you are confused about the quantum of antioxidants that a meal should include, you can always consult a dietitian or nutritionist for guidance. From a purely epidemiological perspective, studies have shown that a higher intake of antioxidant-rich foods is associated with reduced risk of other chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases as well.