Originally published July 12 2013
Six smart lifestyle changes proven to slash your risk of cancer
by Linn Cole
(NaturalNews) Keeping cancer at bay and ensuring longevity comes through two approaches: cutting out damaging lifestyle factors, like smoking, and incorporating more healthful lifestyle changes, like eating better and exercising frequently. When both approaches are honored, health becomes effortless, and the chance of experiencing ailments like heart disease or stroke are greatly reduced.
1. Maintain a healthy weightAccording to the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard's School of Public Health, Dr. Walter Willett, obesity is now responsible for as many cases of cancer as smoking. How? Chronically high insulin in the bloodstreams of the overweight provides fuel for growing tumors. The American Cancer Society cites being obese or overweight as the cause of 20% of cancer deaths in women and 14% of those in men.
2. Cut refined carbohydratesAmong the 75 million Americans with chronically high insulin levels are some who are neither overweight nor obese. To allay your fears of having or developing the condition, your best bet is to lower or eliminate sources of refined sugars and starches in your diet, including soda, fruit juices, white bread and commercial sweets and junk foods. Replace soda and fruit juice with water, vegetable juice and tea; in place of white breads, choose whole grain instead. Try eating fruit in place of candy bars or desserts, or experiment with homemade sweets using non-caloric stevia or other gentle sweeteners.
3. Watch your alcohol consumptionFor those at risk for heart disease, enjoying alcohol in moderation has protective effects. Combining alcohol with a folic acid supplement is even more beneficial. For women, however, alcohol intake alone is correlated to their risk of breast cancer: the more alcohol a woman drinks, the higher her risk. To offset the danger and enjoy the salutary powers of your wine, simply supplement with folic acid.
4. Reduce red meatRed meats, including lamb, pork and beef, are all dietary no-nos: eating these meats five or more times a week has been shown to increase the risk of colon cancer by 30%. Processed meats like sausages and hot dogs do similar damage.
If you need a good reason to give up your meat, consider that vegetarians have a 40% reduced risk of cancer, which is likely due to both the lack of meat in their diet and their lower rates of obesity. Vegetarian protein sources are plentiful and include nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and even many vegetables.
5. Eat more cruciferous vegetablesEating a serving of cruciferous vegetables daily has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by an amazing 50% through action of the compound ITC. Among the many health benefits of this category of vegetables, which includes broccoli, watercress, cabbage, radish and others, are detoxification of carcinogens, prevention of damage to DNA and reducing inflammation.
6. Enjoy your caffeineDrinking coffee reduces the risk of liver, brain, oral and throat cancers, while green tea has been tied to lowered risk of developing lung and other cancers. The antioxidant EGCG, found in green tea, has the special property of seeking out and destroying nascent cancer cells. While the protective effects of these beverages were most visible when consumed in high amounts (up to five cups a day), drinking just two also offers some benefit.
Preventing cancer isn't about complex rules but commonsense health practices. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrition-packed foods, moving your body and avoiding obvious baddies like junk food and cigarettes goes a long way towards your long-term wellness.
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