Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lower Your Risk of Cancer by Consuming High Calcium Foods

According to a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, diets rich in calcium help lower the risk of certain types of cancers in both men and women. The researchers found that the most positive outcomes were associated with calcium from food, not necessarily from supplements.

Although there has been some debate in the past, the vast number of participants in this study has lent to the strength and validity of the findings. In this study, participants who got the most calcium were the least likely to develop various types of cancer. Men who consumed the most calcium significantly lowered their risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, the head and neck and the colon. High levels of calcium consumption in women were linked to lower levels of liver and colon cancer.

The highest effective level of calcium consumption was 1,200 mg per day, and anything more didn't have an effect on participants' abilities to ward off cancer. This is a relatively easy amount of calcium to obtain from the diet - you can get it from obvious sources such as dairy products, soy products or calcium-fortified orange juice. Almonds, beans, legumes and dark leafy greens are also sources of calcium. Just one cup of cooked broccoli contains about 74 mg of calcium.

Choosing a variety of foods rich in calcium in your diet comes with the bonus of including numerous other nutrients that your body needs for optimal performance. Bottom line - Participants who got the most calcium were the healthiest over all.