Worldwide, cancer is recognized as a major health concern affecting millions. More than 1 million people in the US get cancer each year. In 2018 it is estimated that more than 600,000 will die from some type of cancer (1). Scary stuff. Enough to make you throw up your hands and give up. Don’t, there is good news and simple ways you can reduce your own risk and the risk of the ones you love. Simple, doable ways to protect yourself and your family. Here, I am going to review what I feel are 5 of the easiest ways you can help your body combat cancer
Don’t Use Tobacco
For me this is a simple way to avoid cancer. There are so many statistics on smoking, I am always surprised to see that there are people who have started smoking or continue to smoke. Information is key to helping yourself. If you smoke, QUIT. If you don’t, don’t start.
Eat a Healthy Diet – Maintain your Weight – Exercise
There is a lot of information out there on how and what you should eat. I believe that you should find the way that best suits your body. I will offer you the following guidelines to get your started:
Eat your fruits and particularly, your VEGGIES. Your plate should be half filled with veggies. Dark green leafy, cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), carrots, cooked tomatoes and sweet potatoes – basically, if it comes from the earth, eat a lot of it. Three to four 1-cup servings should be very beneficial to your cancer fighting efforts. Consume fruits that are low on the glycemic index such as strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries and gogi berries. The berries are full flavor and yet very low in sugar. For myself, I try to limit my fruit to about two 1-cup servings each day.
Other good foods for your body include grains, beans, fish/seafood and organic meats. Limit the amount of red meat in your diet and when you do consume it, choose organic grass fed cuts when you can. Choose wild caught seafood. Avoid processed meats and limit your alcohol consumption.
As much as you can, get your nutritional needs through food rather than supplements. I believe that if you feel you are deficient in let’s say Vitamin D, then by all means take a supplement. I consider supplements like I do insurance – there in case you need it.
LIST OF TOP CANCER FIGHTING FOODS:
- Raw Garlic
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Green Tea
- Leafy greens
- Cooked tomatoes
- Nuts and Seeds
- Wild Caught Fish/Seafood
- Healthy Fats
MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT and EXERCISE – Find a food and exercise plan that helps you maintain a healthy weight. Avoid being obese. Start working on a plan to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Stand and move more often. In my office, I purposely use one of the copiers that is further away from my desk so I get more steps in each day. I try to stand and/or walk around at least once every hour. You can reduce your risk of cancer by as much as 30% when you exercise. Exercise helps to remove toxins from you system by boosting your lymphatic system, keeping it from getting clogged up!
AVOID SUGAR – Again, there is so much research out there on sugar and how it “feeds” cancer. What I interpret “feeds” to mean is that the effects of added sugar on my body contribute to its inability to fight cancer. For example excessive sugar consumption leads to sugar overload in the liver. Our liver converts carbs (sugar) to fat in the body when there is too much. This leads to obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Figure out how to avoid added sugars. Read labels. If something has more than 6 grams of sugar per serving you should consider finding an alternative.
Proper hydration can help prevent cancer cell formation. Water helps to prevent bladder, breast and colon cancer by keeping you hydrated and flushing your system on a regular basis.
The rule of thumb when it comes to water intake is to drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. So if you are 140 pounds, you should be getting 70 ounces of water as a minimum each day. This is plain water – not tea, coffee or smoothies. Water enables the transport of dead cells and other trash to be removed from your body.
When you routinely miss out on good sleep (both light sleep and REM sleep), your immune system becomes suppressed. Your body cannot do its job of sending out healthy cells to fight the unhealthy/abnormal cells in your system. When you get the proper amount of sleep, your body produces adequate amounts of melatonin, a very potent anti-cancer hormone. Melatonin helps to stimulate the production of the immune cells, particularly T-cell, Natural Killer and cytokine production, and its use as a supplement during chemotherapy and radiotherapy reduces damage to the precursors of both white and red blood cells. (3)
Bottom line – get the right amount of sleep for you so your immune system and hormones stay in their best possible cancer fighting state.
Regular Medical Care
This one is really simple. Get a physical each year, go see your gynecologist and get to the dentist. Make sure you understand what tests you are having and why. Work with your doctor and let him know that you plan to be your own health care advocate. An ounce of prevention goes along way.
Cancer does not have to be inevitable. In a world where things are seemingly stacked against our health, why not begin the journey of taking charge of it. These five steps above are simple and easy to implement into your life and the lives of the ones you love. You don’t have to do everything 100% at the same time. Start small. Add a glass of water to your meals, add a cup of veggies to one meal or put a handful of spinach in your smoothie, go to bed a bit early a few times a week. Your body will thank you for it.
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Other resources – Click here for The Model Health Show – Episode 291