Projections of stomach cancer cases are expected to reach 24,590 in 2015, and 10,720 people will die from it this year alone. Stomach cancer commonly affects older adults, with an average diagnosis age of 69. Men are more at risk of developing stomach cancer than women.
Stomach cancer in America used to be the leading cause of cancer-related death but has seen a decline since the 1930s. Although the reason for the decline isn’t completely known, it is believed that refrigeration of foods and the availability of more fresh produce may have something to do with it. Furthermore, doctors believe the increased use of antibiotics may also be a reason for the decline because antibiotics kill off the bacteria H. pylori, which is one of the common causes of stomach cancer.
New research suggests that there are certain foods you can consume to lower your risk of developing stomach cancer even further.
White fruits and vegetables reduce risk of stomach cancer
Researchers from Zhejiang University in China have found that consuming white fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes, cauliflower and cabbage, can reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer. White fruits and vegetables tend to contain essential nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium, and have high fiber content compared to other colored produce.
The researchers analyzed 76 studies that looked at stomach cancer and diet. The studies consisted of a total of 6.3 million individuals and nearly 33,000 deaths from stomach cancer.
The researchers found for every 100 grams of white fruit (half an apple) consumed daily, the risk of developing stomach cancer reduced by five percent. Consuming two potatoes every day – which are loaded with vitamin C – reduced the risk of stomach cancer by eight percent.
On the other hand, salt increased the risk of stomach cancer by 12 percent, as did pickled vegetables and alcohol, although wine was not shown to have an effect on stomach cancer.
The researchers noted, “This study provides comprehensive and strong evidence that there are a number of protective and risk factors for gastric cancer in diet.”
Other benefits of white fruits and vegetables
Aside from helping reduce your risk of stomach cancer, white fruits and vegetables pack many essential nutrients that can boost your health in other ways as well. Here is a list of popular white fruits and vegetables, and how they can work to boost your health.
Cabbage: Nutrients in cabbage – and other cruciferous vegetables – have been found to strengthen bones and maintain healthy blood vessels.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are cholesterol and gluten-free and they are filling, so they are great for weight loss.
Garlic: Garlic can promote hair growth, fight colds and flu, boost the immune system and minimize acne.
Onions: Onions have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with arthritis as well as boost your immune system, and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Potatoes: Potatoes are loaded with fiber, which is great for improving cholesterol, feeling full and essential for heart health. Potatoes also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Although all fruits and vegetables are good for you no matter their color, pay attention and make sure you’re incorporating enough white ones for added health benefits.