Cancer is, for many people, an alarming word but it does not have to be. Nowadays there are many very effective early detection, diagnosis and treatment options available and there are several ways that we can protect ourselves from developing cancer in the first place.
Below are some suggestions to ward off cancer cells from forming in your body. The more of these you do the higher your protection will be against cancer formation.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants.
- Choose wholegrains over highly processed grains as wholegrains contain fibre known to reduce potential cancer-causing toxins from the bowel.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners due to the as yet unknown effects on cancer development.
- Add the spice turmeric to your food as it contains a compound shown to prevent cancer known as curcumin.
- Drink green tea as studies have indicated that it reduces the risk of developing many cancers.
- Avoid processed, charcoaled, and smoked meats, which produce nitrosamines, potential bowel cancer causing compounds. For similar reasons avoid over-browning your meat; rather choose to steam, broil, bake, or lightly stir-fry.
- Avoid getting sunburnt as UV radiation damage has been linked to the development of skin cancer. Interestingly, not getting enough vitamin D can also potential lead to cancer formation as vitamin D acts as an antioxidant (Refer to Simple Health Habit #47 for tips on safe sun exposure).
- Wear rubber gloves if using chemicals for cleaning or better still check for natural cleaning alternatives and personal care products. Do not use aerosolised air fresheners. Instead choose fresh flowers, natural orange spray, or scent pots.
- Avoid using non-stick cookwear that is cracked as this can leach toxic chemicals into your food. Instead opt to use stainless teal, ceramic, or glass.
- Avoid bisphenol-A (BPA) found in many plastic containers, plastic food wrap, water bottles, and canned foods, as this has been linked to cancer development amongst other health concerns. Look for BPA-free varieties or better still store food in glass Pyrex or stainless steel containers, avoid using plastic food wrap or at the very least do not heat food in the microwave covered in plastic wrap, and choose stainless steel water bottles.
- Practise stress-reduction strategies regularly.
- Quit smoking, which contains literally at least 40 known potential cancer-causing chemicals.
- Exercise regularly as this has been shown to reduce cancer incidence. Keep in mind that if you are undertaking heavy training consider taking an extra dose of antioxidants to buffer the high numbers of free radicals being produced in your body.
- Consider taking an extra antioxidant supplement if you are over the age of 50 years and you do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. Choose one that contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin D, vitamin E, as well as selenium.