Cancer is an all too common and devastating disease that affects millions of people each year. Chances are you know someone that has had cancer, or even you yourself have battled the disease. There are various factors that can increase your risk for cancer. Diet, physical activity, and body weight for example are significant risk factors for developing certain types of cancer.
The five following diet and lifestyle guidelines are recommended by the American Cancer Society to help fight your risk for cancer.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity increases the risk for at least seven types of cancer including: colorectal, kidney, pancreatic, postmenopausal breast, endometrial, gallbladder, and a common variety of esophageal cancer called adenocarcinoma. Maintaining a healthy weight can be achieved by regular physical activity and following a healthy balanced diet. Even losing a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
2. Limit Alcohol
It is recommended to drink no more than one drink a day for women and two per day for men.
3. Eat Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage. The AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) recommends eating 5 servings of non starchy vegetables and fruit per day. Examples of a serving = 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or a medium apple.
4. Eat Whole Grains and Beans
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans provide the body with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which can help the body to fight against cancer and other diseases. Phytochemicals have the ability to stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage that can lead to cancer, and slow the growth rate of cancer cells.
5. Limit Red and Processed Meats
Processed meats are linked to increased cancer risk. Processed meat is meat that has been salted, cured, smoked, or has chemical preservatives added to it. Examples of processed meats include: hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and corned beef. Because of their association with increased cancer risk, it is recommended to limit your intake of processed and red meats.
There you have it, the five diet and lifestyle related ways to lower your risk for cancer. It’s never too early to start taking steps to fight this disease.
The Diet Duchess