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What foods are best to combat Melanoma?

Tags: Cancer , Skin

What foods are best to combat Melanoma?

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The answer

Thank you for your question.

The best way to prevent Melanoma would be to ensure adequate protection was used when exposed to sunlight. This would include protection cream with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that would assist with defending your skin against ultraviolet radiation (UV) when exposed. Most Dermatologists would recommend a daily SPF to exposed areas of skin, even during the winter months.

As most clinicians and nutritionists would advise, a healthy well balanced diet to maintain adequate ingestion of vitamins & minerals essential for cell repair, and to ensure that the you are within the Body Mass Index (BMI) guidelines for a healthy weight.

With regards to diet, there is no definite extensive research to relate a certain intake of diet directly relating to reducing the risk of Melanoma, but there have been preliminary and promising research within this area.

There are studies contained within the International Journal of Epidemiology that would suggest that following a Mediterranean diet is of benefit to aid reducing your risk of Melanoma.

The study, based in Italy, would suggest that increasing your diet to include plant based foods, vegetable & fruits, olive oil, fish and fresh herbs may decrease your risk of Melanoma by 50%. As stated, extensive studies are in their infancy, but according to initial studies, following this type of diet foods may assist with prevention of Melanoma.

Studies show diets rich in Selenium may reduce the risk and survival rates of Melanoma.

Selenium rich foods would include;

  • Brazil nuts
  • Scallops
  • Lobster
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Whole Wheat
  • Wheat germ and Milk.

Antioxidants are substances that can be taken through diet. These substances are thought to protect and aid cellular damage that can be caused by the harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Foods that offer high levels of antioxidants would be as follows;

  • Angiogenic foods such as Omega-3 fatty acid fish (Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Trout) – at least one serving per week. These contain anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Dark green & orange vegetables & fruits including, Broccoli, Collard greens, Cauliflower, Kale, Spinach, Beet leaves, and Citrus fruits contain high levels of Anti-oxidants.
  • Fresh Rosemary, Basil, Sage and Parsley are high in Anti-oxidants.
  • 1-2 cups of daily of Green or Black tea

We have added some links below if you would like some further information:

Cancer Research UK - how healthy eating prevents cancer

NHS - 5 a day

NHS - Healthy weight calculator


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