The optimal diet recommended by most health organizations is low in fat, high in fiber, and includes regular consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grain breads, rice, and pasta. The World Health Organization recommends eating at least four hundred grams of fruits and vegetables daily, including thirty grams of beans, nuts and grains. This mostly plant-based diet is naturally low in fat, cholesterol and soda, high in potassium, fiber and vitamins with antioxidant properties (vitamins A, C and E) and phytochemicals. People who follow such a diet are less likely to become victims of chronic diseases – cancer and cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies confirm the fact that daily consumption of fresh plant-based foods reduces the likelihood of developing breast, colon and other types of malignant neoplasms. Cancer risk is typically reduced by 50% or more in people who eat many servings of fruits and vegetables regularly (every day) compared to people who eat only a few servings. Different plants can protect different organs and parts of the body. For example, the use of carrots and green leafy plants protects against lung cancer, while broccoli, like cauliflower, protects against colon cancer. Regular consumption of cabbage has been observed to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 60-70%, while regular use of onions and garlic reduces the risk of stomach and colon cancer by 50-60%. Regular consumption of tomatoes and strawberries protects against prostate cancer. Scientists have identified approximately thirty-five plants with anti-cancer properties. Plants with the maximum effect of this kind include ginger, garlic, licorice root, carrots, soybeans, celery, coriander, parsnips, dill, onions, parsley. Other plants with anti-cancer activity are flax, cabbage, citrus fruits, turmeric, tomatoes, sweet peppers, oats, brown rice, wheat, barley, mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, melon, cucumber, various berries. Scientists have found in these products a large number of phytochemicals that have anti-cancer effects. These beneficial substances prevent various metabolic and hormonal disruptions. Numerous flavonoids are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and have biological properties that promote health and reduce the risk of disease. Thus, flavonoids act as antioxidants, preventing cholesterol from being converted into unsafe oxides of dioxide, preventing the formation of blood clots and counteracting inflammation. People who consume a lot of flavonoids are less likely to die from heart disease (about 60%) and stroke (about 70%) than consumers with a small amount of flavonoids. Chinese people who frequently eat soy foods are twice as likely to get stomach, colon, breast, and lung cancers as Chinese people who rarely eat soy or soy products. Soybeans contain fairly high levels of several components with pronounced anti-cancer effects, including substances with a high content of isoflavones, such as genistein, which is part of soy protein. These isoflavones inhibit the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells.
Flour obtained from flax seeds gives bakery products a nutty flavor, and also increases the beneficial properties of products. The presence of flaxseeds in the diet can lower the level of cholesterol in the body due to the content of omega-3 fatty acids in them. Flaxseeds have an anti-inflammatory effect and strengthen the immune system. They are used to treat skin tuberculosis and arthritis. Flaxseeds, as well as sesame seeds, are excellent sources of lignans, which are converted in the intestines into substances with anti-cancer effects. These extragen-like metabolites are able to bind to extragen receptors and prevent the development of extragen-stimulated breast cancer, similar to the action of genestein in soy. The many anti-cancer phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables are similar to those found in whole grains and nuts. Phytochemicals are concentrated in the bran and kernel of the grain, so the beneficial effects of grains are enhanced when whole grains are eaten. Nuts and cereals contain a sufficient amount of toktrienols (vitamins of group E with a powerful antioxidant effect), which prevent the growth of tumors and cause a significant decrease in cholesterol levels. Red grape juice contains significant amounts of flavonoids and anthocyanin pigments that act as antioxidants. These substances do not allow cholesterol to oxidize, lower blood lipids and prevent the formation of blood clots, thus protecting the heart. Adequate amounts of trans-resveratrol and other antioxidants are found in grapes and unfermented grape juice, which are considered safer sources than red wine. Regular consumption of raisins (not less than one hundred and fifty grams for two months) reduces blood cholesterol levels, normalizes bowel function and lowers the risk of colon cancer. In addition to fiber, raisins contain phytochemically active tartaric acid.