Tomorrow is World Cancer Day. So, I will dedicate this weekend to cancers.
Can your lifestyle contribute to cancer? Yes it can! Here are some tips to help you make the right choices.
- Eat healthy. More fruits and vegetables which are full of anti-oxidants which help protect the body against free radicals that lead to cancer. Eat less animal fats. Green leafy vegetables are rich in substances that are thought to protect against cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. These vegetables are also rich in folic acid which helps your body produce new cells and repair DNA, and is especially important for women of childbearing age because it can prevent neural tube (spinal cord) defects in a developing fetus . You get the most of these nutrients when the leaves are eaten raw or slightly cooked. So please don’t smother them in oil!!!
- Exercise as this helps you lose weight and reduces your risk of certain cancers like those of the breast, kidney and oesophagus.
- Garlic: Funny…but it could very well be the sulfur compounds causing that odor that also stop cancer-causing substances from forming in your body, speed DNA repair, and kill cancer cells :D…..talk about a stinky idea!! Garlic also battles bacteria, including H. pylori (the one connected to some ulcers and stomach cancer), and it reduces the risk of colon cancer. To get the most benefit, peel and chop the cloves and let them sit 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. That activates enzymes and releases the sulfur-containing compounds that have the most protective effect
And…by the way, stick with the cloves, not the dietary supplement.
- Carrots: They contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant believed to protect cell membranes from toxin damage and slow the growth of cancer cells. They also deliver other vitamins and phytochemicals that might guard against cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Some studies have suggested that cooked carrots supply more antioxidants than raw. If you’re cooking carrots, leave them whole while steaming or boiling, and cut them after they’re done. That reduces the loss of nutrients and gives them a sweeter taste as well.
- Whole Grains: They have a lot of fiber and contain other substances that might battle cancer. So stock up on 100% whole wheat bread (not white bread), ofada or brown rice as opposed to polished white rice and oats instead of sugary cereals.
- Strawberries: Berries are thought to protect against heart disease, memory decline and cancer. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants which are thought to destroy cancer-causing substances and slow the growth of tumors. Other types of berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries are also good sources of these anti-oxidants. They can be found fresh or frozen at big supermarkets in major cities. Studies have shown that eating fruit, including berries, probably decreases the risk of lung cancer and could prevent cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.
- And guess what? Breastfeeding is protective against cancers…one more reason to ensure that your baby gets this all important goodness 😀
- S Smoking is one avoidable lifestyle habit that increases your chances of a lot of diseases like cancer) of the mouth, throat, stomach and cervix high blood pressure etc. Even second-hand smoke (inhaling smoke from someone else who is smoking) has been implicated in lung cancer.
- Alcohol intake: Limit alcohol consumption to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women with at least 2 alcohol-free days per week. However, even these recommended amounts are still associated with significant health risks include cancer
- Red Meat and Animal Fat: Studies have shown that a diet high in animal fat increases the risk for several types of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Poultry and fish contain less fat than red meat, thus reducing the red meat in your diet may help to prevent cancer. A diet high in fat also is major cause of obesity, which is a risk factor for many types of cancer.
- Unsafe Sex: This has been implicated in cervical cancer. Unsafe sex can cause infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cancer of the cervix and is a risk factor for other types of cancer. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that is spread through sexual, skin-to-skin contact. There is a vaccine to prevent this cancer now. Please ask your doctor. HIV/AIDS is also associated with some types of cancers. Get screened regularly
There are vaccines to prevent some cancers like those of the cervix. You could also take the Hepatitis B vaccine to prevent long term damage to the liver and cancer.
More importantly, study, know and understand your body and be sure to notice any change(s) like change in skin colour, development of a lump etc.
Have a lovely day, folks 😀