Nutrition is often an integral part of the quality of life before, during and after a cancer diagnosis. One of the best things you can do before ever being diagnosed with cancer or before treatment starts (besides maintaining a healthy weight) is consuming a diet rich in antioxidants, which are cancer-cell fighting nutrients.
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The fiber in these foods will also help you fill up on fewer calories, essential for maintaining a healthy weight.
Increased cancer risk is also associated with excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity (less than 150 minutes of physical activity per week).
To find out if you are overweight or obese, you must first find your body mass index. To calculate your BMI, take your weight in pounds, divide by your height in inches, and divide by your height in inches again. Finally, multiply this number by 703. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and stand 66 inches tall (5 foot 6 inches), then your BMI is 24.2 (150 ÷ 66 ÷ 66 × 703 = 24.2), which is considered healthy.
If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are considered underweight; 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy, 25.0 to 29.9 is overweight and 30.0 or greater is obese. BMI is only an estimate, not a rule; however, it is a helpful tool in gauging whether your weight may be putting you at risk for developing cancer or other diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.