The “C” word is a word we all dread. Unfortunately, it’s a word most of us have been impacted by in one way or another. Maybe you lost someone to cancer or maybe you know someone who triumphed over cancer. It’s one of the leading causes of death, and although there are no guarantees when it comes to cancer, there are proven ways to reduce your risk. Let’s take a look at what you can do to reduce your risk.
The American Institute for Cancer Research has some great recommendations:
1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed food.
6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks for two a day for men and one a day for women.
7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium.
8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
While you may already know many of these tips, how many are you following?
Preventing weight gain can reduce the risk of many types of cancer. For those people who are already overweight or obese, your first course of action should be not to gain any additional weight. And when you begin an exercise program, remember that even modest losses of weight, from 5 to 10 pounds, can begin to benefit your health.
Although many people don’t realize it, all the foods in the grocery store that come in packages and are labeled “low in fat” may not be good for you. Your body isn’t meant to consume so much processed food, and just because it looks like a diet food, that doesn’t mean it is healthy food. Try to limit the amount of processed foods you consume and instead choose foods in their natural forms: berries, apples, nuts, carrots, dark leafy greens, tomatoes…  Regarding supplements, it’s healthy to take a multivitamin each day, but taking supplements in high doses can be counterproductive and may increase your risk for certain types of cancer. The best sources of nutrients come from healthy food and drink choices. Too many supplements can upset the balance of nutrients in our bodies.
While not smoking definitely can reduce your cancer—it almost goes without saying right?
But did you know that flossing regularly can reduce your risk as well? The health of your gums is related to the health of your body. Periodontal disease has been linked to some forms of cancer. So make sure you are taking care of your teeth—and gums. Dr. Mehmet Oz recently mentioned on his show that most people only brush their teeth for 38 seconds at a time, when you should spend two full minutes each day, twice a day brushing those teeth.
What tip are you going to start doing to reduce your risk of cancer?