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Fruits and Vegetables Linked to Reduced Cancer in Women

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Ladies, it is time to head to your nearest grocery store, fill up your re-usable bag with fruits and veggies, and start munching like your life depended on it- because it does.

A new health discovery shows that women who eat higher amounts of fruits and vegetables can reduce their risk of invasive bladder cancer. The chances of a woman getting bladder cancer in her lifetime is approximately 1 in 90.

Over a period of 12 years, researcher Song-Yi Park and her colleagues, at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, collected data from 185,885 adults including dietary, lifestyle, genetics, and cancer risk. Of those men and women in the study, 581 invasive bladder cases were diagnosed (152 women and 429 men).

After adjusting for variables related to cancer risk (age, lifestyle, etc.), the researchers discovered that among women- those who consumed the most fruits and vegetables had the lowest risk of bladder cancer.

“Our study supports the fruit and vegetable recommendation for cancer prevention,” said Park in a press release.

Besides piling up the whole-foods portions, color appears to be an important factor. Women in the study that consumed high amounts of yellow-orange vegetables were 52 percent less likely to have bladder cancer than those who didn’t. High intake of vitamins A, C, and E were also found to positively influence women’s health and reduce their risk.

Bladder cancer starts in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of long-term irritation and inflammation. It has the highest recurrent rate of an cancer. The National Cancer Institute points out that approximately 15,210 deaths are caused by bladder cancer; 72,570 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

Having a diet that is both rich in fruits and vegetables- with a variety of color- has the most impact for natural disease prevention. Colorful fruits and vegetables indicate an abundance of vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, all of which aid the body in protecting against cancer.

Researchers found no associations between fruit and vegetable intake and bladder cancer in men, so “further investigation is needed to understand why reduced cancer risk… was confined to only women,” said Park.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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