[World Cancer Day] Change your lifestyle to reduce the risk of cancerSheela Seharawat
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), more than one-third of the cancer cases are avoidable and preventable.
In common understanding, all cancers start from the cells. There are different types of cells in our body that conduct different functions. In normal conditions, the genes in the cells make sure that the cells reproduce and grow in an orderly and controlled way. Sometimes, due to certain reasons, or by chance, when the cells divide changes take place in the genes, which is called mutation. This either causes damage to the genes, or will be lost or copied twice. Mutation means that the cells will no longer understand the instructions and will behave irrelevantly by growing out of control.
According to health experts, there is always a higher risk of getting cancer if one does not take enough nutrition. This can be easily rectified through diet, which will help our body have higher immunity. Drinking orange juice or any fruit juice containing Vitamin C will definitely have a positive effect towards immunity and developing influential protection against various types of cancers like that of cervical and breast.
Cancer is preventable: diet and cancer
Studies reveal that a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants is highly beneficial in the prevention of cancer. Foods rich in nutrition provide our cells with the necessary building blocks for regeneration. One important element in the diet for cancer prevention is addition of Vitamin D, which helps in the process of DNA formation within the cell and accurately guides the gene replication process.
Dieticians refer cancer diets often refers it as ‘raw food diet’ and ‘the living diet’. A good cancer prevention diet consists of foods like raw and fresh vegetables, raw seeds and nuts, and whole grains. Consuming fruits and vegetables in their nearest natural form (may be raw) helps the body absorb extra nutrients that are lost to a certain extent in the cooking process.
Noted here are some food groups that help in cancer prevention and healthy living –
Fruits and vegetables: Broccoli, spinach and wheatgrass are great additions to your diet when you are trying to prevent cancer.
- Broccoli: Research on cancer and foods has revealed that a compound found in broccoli reduces the further development of tumors in the body by 60 percent and reduces the size of an existing tumor by 75 percent. Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin C, fiber, calcium, Vitamin K, beta-carotene and much more. It is also a great source of iron.
- Spinach: It is a powerful food that contains Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, B vitamins, calcium, and iron and many more natural minerals and nutrients. Spinach, along with other greens, is a rich source of potassium and is low in sodium. Along with Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and other minerals, spinach is great for lowering one’s blood pressure.
- Wheatgrass: It is a great source against cancer and considered as a complete food. It has high levels of chlorophyll and provides natural detoxification. Chlorophyll cleanses and builds blood and resists in the adverse effects of radiation.
- Garlic: It is one of the world’s most remarkable health foods. It is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Garlic has qualities that boost the immune system drastically and help fights numerous diseases, from common flu to cancer.
- Turmeric and other spices: Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin. It is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods, as it has proven to fight colon and breast cancers and decrease the sizes of the tumor. Combined with black pepper, the qualities of absorption of turmeric is enhanced and fights inflammation better.
Other herbs like ginger, thyme, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley are also good immune boosters and help in the prevention of cancer development in the body.
Developing a good cancer prevention strategy is very essential for all. Though in recent times cancer has grown as an epidemic, understanding cancer and the measures that we can adopt through our diet will certainly prevent this insidious disease from spreading. Having more fruits and vegetables, fibrous and whole grain foods, and avoiding processed meats and foods, fried items and sugary foods is the key.
Cancer is preventable: lifestyle and cancer
Our lifestyle has dramatically changed with the modern developments. Unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, stress, easy living and environmental toxins have contributed to the growth of cancer rapidly. A third of the causes for cancer rise out of lifestyle disorders. Summed up here are a few prominent modifiable lifestyle factors that can reduce risks of cancer:
- Lack of physical activity and sedentary living.
- Unhealthy eating habits.
- Exposure to radiation and radioactive substances.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Millions of people die every year because of it. According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than one third of the cancer cases is avoidable and preventable. Experts also estimate that more than half of all cancer cases could be prevented through a combination of healthy lifestyle and proper and regular dietary intake.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)