10 Fruits and 10 Vegetables to Consume if you Smoke
A diet rich in plants could help prevent lung cancer. Here are 10 fruits and 10 vegetables rich in antioxidants to put on the menu if you smoke.
Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer. However, diet can also influence the risk of developing this cancer. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables would protect moderately because of the antioxidants they contain.
In a study of 2,554 people, researchers specifically studied the effect of specific carotenoids (β-carotene, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein / zeaxanthin, lycopene) and vitamin C on cancer lung risk.
Among participants who consume the most β-carotene, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene, the results show a decrease in the risk of lung cancer by 44%, 30%, 35% and 25% respectively. High consumption of vitamin C would be associated with a 26% decrease in lung cancer risk. These risk reductions are much higher than in previous studies, and should be taken with caution especially as it is an observational study.
The analysis of the results shows that carotenoids (β-carotene, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene) could protect men who smoke a lot, while vitamin C would be interesting for women, whether they smoke or not.
Carotenoids are yellow-orange pigments that are synthesized by plants to protect themselves from solar radiation.
Where to find these antioxidants?
If you are a smoker, you may consume regularly the following foods (preferably organic):
- Vitamin C: guava, blackcurrant, kiwi, orange, lemon, grapefruit, pepper, cabbage, broccoli
- β-carotene: sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, spinach, dandelion, cabbage, apricot, mango
- α-carotene: pumpkin, carrot, squash
- β-cryptoxanthin: watermelon, apricot, orange, papaya, squash, red pepper, dandelion
- Lycopene: watermelon, guava, papaya, tomatoes, tomato sauce