Cancer is downright scary. There’s no sugarcoating this truth. Most people unfortunately associate cancer with bad luck or fate. Scientifically, cancer is related to a combination of genes, the environment, and different aspects of life, several of which are beyond your control.
Cancer is the result of damage to a person’s DNA. Many different things can cause your DNA to deteriorate, such as the sun’s UV rays or certain chemicals in cigarettes. This damage accumulates over time. If a cell acquires excessive damage to its DNA, it can mutate and multiply out of control – and so cancer begins.
The big C doesn’t happen overnight. This is great because it means, you still have the chance to change your lifestyle for the better. Consuming cancer-fighting foods and quitting bad health habits can drastically lessen your cancer risk.
Here are some cancer prevention tips you need to start doing ASAP!
- Cut down on sugary drinks.
Sodas, artificial juices, and other sugary drinks can cause obesity, diabetes, and endometrial cancer. A University of Minnesota School of Public Health study reported that women who consume copious amounts of sugar-laden drinks have an 87% higher risk of getting endometrial cancer. Instead of these carbonated, sugary beverages, drink water.
- Steam broccoli (and its family).
Broccoli is one of the known cancer-preventing superfoods. The best preparation for broccoli is steamed as it releases more glucosinolate (a fancy word for the healthy stuff) than when it’s fried or boiled. People who eat broccoli and its family (cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts) at least once a week lessens the risk of kidney cancer.
- Enjoy garlic.
The pungent, staple herb has compounds that can induce the natural defenses of your immune system against cancer. Garlic can also help your body wipe out cancer-causing compounds. In a study made by The Iowa Women’s Health Study, participants who ate garlic consistently and in large amounts lowered their risk of colon cancer by 50%.
- Stand more.
New medical reports claimed that people who spend most of their day seated get a 24% higher risk for colon and endometrial cancer than those who spend less time sitting. Another study revealed that people who put in long hours watching TV get a 54% increased risk of colon cancer than those who do other activities. If your work requires hours of sitting down, make sure to get up every hour and walk around for a few minutes. And please don’t become a couch potato.
- Indulge in “resistant starches.”
Resistant starch can help lessen the amplified risk of colon cancer due to a heavy red meat diet. This starch is usually found in green bananas (somewhat raw), white beans, and rolled oats. In a study conducted by the Cancer Prevention Research, participants tested a 30% rapid boost in their rectal cell tissue after consuming 300 grams of lean red meat every day for a month. After adding 40 grams of resistant starches in their daily diet, their crazy increased levels returned to normal.
- Get vitamin D from the sun.
Roughly 90% of the body’s vitamin D directly comes from the sun. Vitamin D helps to boost your cell growth and reproduction. A lack of vitamin D cuts the interaction between cells, which leads to them discontinuing to stick together. This “miscommunication” enables cancer cells to spread.
If you have low levels of vitamin D then you could have a greater risk of a variety of cancers like breast, prostate, and stomach cancer. This is not to mention other health conditions like osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
Now realize that an overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to skin cancer. A maximum of 15 minutes a day (preferably before 10 AM) can produce enough daily vitamin D levels.
- Drink green tea.
In the past decade, there have been at least a hundred accredited scientific tests that supports the link between green tea and lowering cancer risk. While some have been inconsistent because of the variations in the types of tea used and different preparation methods, the majority still concluded that tea drinkers have a small risk of ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer.
The healing components of green tea, in particular, have been valued in both medical and traditional practices in Asia. A lot of scientists believe that the EGCG, a compound in green tea, is one of the most potent anti-cancer compounds, because of its extremely high number of antioxidants.
- Exercise (or walk) at least 30 minutes a day.
Studies have shown that people who work out at least 30 minutes every day have a 40% reduced risk of breast cancer than those who don’t. Daily exercise reduces your levels of blood estrogen, a hormone that affects your risk of breast cancer.
One study also stated that at least a total of four hours a week of walking can cut in half the probability of pancreatic cancer. These benefits are likely related to enhanced insulin metabolism from exercising.
There is still no medical cure for cancer. The best you can do is take care of yourself – with or without the big C in your life. It’s never too late to change your eating habits and lifestyle to become healthy and better.