Did you know that cancer is the second main cause of death after heart disease?
Cancer risk factors are either man-made or found naturally in the environment – thankfully a lot of them can be controlled. For example, you can quit smoking, avoid direct sunlight, and practice ways to avoid stress, which will reduce the risk of developing cancer.
It is also equally pleasing to know that nutritional factors contributing to the risk of developing cancer can also be controlled – especially in reference to the latest research.
What does research say? High fat intake, especially fat from animal sources (butter, ghee, high fat meats and dairy products) can increase the risk of developing some types of cancer. On the other hand, high fibre foods like vegetables and fruits reduce the risk of cancer.
Here are some general daily tips that can help reduce your exposure to carcinogens:
- Go easy on the fat: Especially animal fat (saturated fats), like butter and ghee that are solid at room temperature. Instead, use unsaturated fats which are liquid at room temperature such as olive oil and vegetable oils used in cooking such as canola, corn or sunflower oil. To reduce the fat in you diet, chose lean meat, grilled skinless chicken, fish and low-fat dairy products. And remember to avoid fried foods and sweets.
- Be careful when barbecuing: When barbecuing or grilling meat, make sure that the flames do not touch the meat, since this can increase the level of carcinogens in it.
- Make fruits and vegetables part of your meal (at least 5 servings per day): These are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which play a major role in protecting body cells from cancer.
1. Enrich your diet with cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower) which protect against certain types of cancer especially colon cancer.
2.Concentrate on green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, rocket, green beans and celery as they are rich in lutein. These vegetables also contain healthy fibre which helps the body get rid of toxins.
3. Boost your intake of coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, cherries and strawberries as they contain pigments that protect against cancer.
4.Increase your intake of tomatoes which are rich in Lycopene – an antioxidant found to have cancer-preventative benefits, especially cancer of the stomach and colon. Lycopene is also found in red grapefruit and sweet red pepper.
- Drink coffee and tea in moderation (an average of 3-4 cups per day) as they are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols.
- Enrich your diet with vitamin E found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Making simple yet healthy changes to your lifestyle is not impossible and can be done with time and perseverance. And since 80% of the cancer risk factors are related to your lifestyle, making healthy changes can reduce the risk of occurrence quite significantly!
So, go ahead, indulge and enjoy yourself, just remember to follow the tips provided to experience a fulfilling life of health and happiness.