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The incidence of stomach cancer has dropped significantly in recent years. Researchers attribute this trend in part to a reduction in dietary risk factors among the general population. Even so, stomach cancer still occurs. To help protect yourself, there are some preventive steps you can take, such as making a few simple changes to your diet.

Dietary changes to reduce your risk of stomach cancer

A healthy, plant-based diet can help ward off many types of cancer, including stomach cancer. Specifically, the American Cancer Society recommends consuming:

  • Plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, which are rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit, which contain both vitamin C (which can neutralize cancer-causing free radicals) and flavonoids (which can inhibit cancerous cells from invading healthy tissues)
  • Carrots and sweet potatoes, which contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant
  • Whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals (in place of refined grains)
  • Fish, poultry and beans (in place of processed and red meats)
  • Garlic, onions, shallots, leaks and scallions, which contain allicin, a natural cancer-fighter
  • Green tea, which contains polyphenols that may prevent or delay some types of cellular damage

Antioxidant supplements, such as vitamins A, C and E, can potentially reduce the risk of stomach cancer in individuals who have poor dietary nutrition. However, experts believe it is more beneficial to meet your nutritional needs through a healthy, balanced diet whenever possible.

The American Cancer Society also recommends maintaining a healthy body weight by balancing caloric intake with physical activity. In addition to reducing stomach cancer risk, weight loss and regular exercise can enhance overall health and well-being.

If you’d like to discuss your stomach cancer risk factors and develop a prevention strategy with an oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, you can request an appointment with or without a referral. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online.