Did you know that cancer is the second leading cause of death in our country? The first one is heart disease. Some people don’t even realize they have cancer until it’s too late, and, unfortunately, most types of this health problem are pretty hard to detect in the early stages.
While there are a ton of things that increase your risk of developing this deadly health issue, such as smoking and obesity, there are also several things you can do to reduce your chances. This disease doesn’t develop overnight, so if you’re making some changes to your lifestyle, you may prevent it.
From eating and avoiding certain foods to including healthy habits in your life, all can make a huge difference when it comes to aging gracefully and keeping cancer at bay.
1. Avoid sugary drinks
No matter what brand you choose, all sugary drinks contain way more sugar than you think, and, as a result, sugary drinks consumption could translate to obesity and diabetes. On top of that, sugary beverages can also increase your risk of developing endometrial cancer.
In fact, research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health discovered that people who drank sugary drinks on a regular basis had up to an 87 percent greater risk of developing endometrial cancer. The researchers also added that this occurred due to the weight gain that’s usually associated with drinking this type of beverage.
2. Include resistant starches in your diet
Have you ever heard of resistant starches? They are basically carbohydrates that have the unique capacity to resist digestion in the small intestine. Resistant starches ferment in the large intestine. But why is this a good thing? Well, since they aren’t digested in the small intestine, they don’t raise glucose and promote healthy digestion.
White beans, green bananas, or rolled oats are just a few resistant starch examples that can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer. Doctors recommend pairing red meat with resistant starches as they can counteract the negative effects of red meat consumption.
3. Stand more and sit less
Are you sitting while reading this article? That’s bad news. According to a recent study, people who tend to spend most of their time sitting are actually at a 24 percent greater risk of developing endometrial and colon cancer than those who spend fewer hours sitting.
Another study pointed out that those who stay many hours in front of the TV have a 54 percent greater risk of developing colon cancer than those who spend less time in front of a screen. If your job comes with a desk and a chair, at least get up a couple of times during the day and go for a five-minute walk.
4. Steam your broccoli
One of the best cancer-fighting foods is broccoli. Apart from that, broccoli has many health benefits. From promoting digestive health to improving your immune system and aiding weight loss, broccoli does wonders for your health.
However, the healthiest way to consume broccoli is steamed. According to the Harvard Family Health Guide, the nutrients and vitamins found in broccoli tend to vanish when cooked in water. So, steam your broccoli rather than boiling it.
5. Snack on Brazil nuts
While Brazil nuts have countless benefits, they are best known for being rich in selenium. A study conducted at Harvard University found out approximately 1,000 individuals with prostate cancer who consumed rich sources of selenium every day were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced stages of the disease.
Another astonishing study conducted at the University of Arizona and Cornell University discovered that only 200 micrograms of selenium per day, or in other words, two Brazil nuts, could minimize the risk of developing prostate cancer by 63 percent.
However, most experts recommend getting your selenium intake from foods, not from supplements, as some studies suggest that selenium supplements could actually increase prostate cancer risk.
6. Add garlic to your meals
Due to its powerful compounds, garlic can boost the immune system to fight against cancer. In fact, it may even help your body to diminish the number of cancer-causing chemicals. Studies suggest that regular garlic consumption can minimize your risk of developing several types of cancers, including colon cancer, by up to 50 percent.
7. Eat cruciferous veggies
We’ve already mentioned one cruciferous veggie, namely broccoli, but how about others? Cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, kale, Brussels sprouts, and radishes are all cruciferous vegetables. According to a multinational study, cruciferous veggie consumption is strongly associated with a lower risk of developing kidney cancer.
Try to consume cruciferous veggies at least once a week, and remember that steaming is better than boiling, frying, or roasting.
8. Prep a cancer-fighting dinner
You’re going to cook something anyway, so why not prep a cancer-fighting dinner? According to studies, a Mediterranean eating style can minimize the incidence of cancer significantly. As a general rule, the Mediterranean diet is actually plant-based.
A registered dietitian and nutritionist, Elena Paraventes-Hargitt, says that people who opt for this type of diet can easily respect it with what they grow in their own gardens. Along with some olive oil and some dairy, you’re good to go.
Get inspired by searching online for Mediterranean diet recipes. You’ll find a ton of recipes that are quick and easy to make.
9. Make friends with artichokes
Along with its many health benefits such as regulating blood pressure, improving liver health, keeping your digestive system healthy, and lowering blood sugar levels, artichoke has anticancer effects too. Because it is a great source of silymarin, artichoke can actually prevent skin cancer by delaying cancer cell growth. Try to consume artichokes more often; your overall health will thank you.
10. Expose yourself to vitamin D
Did you know that approximately 90 percent of your vitamin D comes from the sun? Not from the food you eat, not even from supplements, but from the sunlight. Numerous studies have shown that those who have a vitamin D deficiency are more prone to developing certain cancers, including breast, colon, ovarian, stomach, and prostate cancer.
Since vitamin D is actually responsible for promoting new cell growth, you should expose yourself to sunlight at least 15 minutes a day. Depriving yourself of sun exposure can translate to other health conditions, too, like high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis.
However, try to get your daily dose of vitamin D in the morning and avoid overexposure at all costs.
11. Drink green tea
According to the National Cancer Institute, there are countless studies that point out the benefits of drinking green tea on a regular basis. And although more research is needed to understand the connection between green tea consumption and cancer, most studies suggest that green tea drinkers can lower their risk of developing colon, lung, prostate, ovarian, and breast cancer.
Some health experts think that the powerful compounds found in green tea are responsible for minimizing your risk of getting diagnosed with this health problem. Here’s an amazing green tea you should try.
12. Enjoy a glass of wine
Please name a better way to prevent this deadly health issue. Yeah, you can’t… thought so. Generally, alcohol can protect against Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that can lead to ulcers, therefore stomach cancer. A study conducted at Queens University found that moderate amounts of alcohol, wine included, can guard you against H. pylori.
However, do not exaggerate. Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day can actually maximize your risk of developing throat, liver, breast, and esophageal cancer.
13. Eat wild salmon
It seems that women who eat wild salmon at least two times a week are less likely to develop polyps or tissue growths in the colon that can eventually lead to cancer. In general, all fish is great, but salmon, in particular, is the best choice.
Because it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for having cancer-fighting effects, salmon should be found on your plate at least once a week.
14. Walk at least 30 minutes a day
Many studies have shown that walking at least 30 minutes daily could translate to a 40% lower risk of developing certain types of cancers, including breast cancer. According to doctors, moderate exercise is responsible for reducing blood estrogen levels, and we all know that this hormone is linked to breast cancer.
Another study found that walking half an hour can prevent the development of pancreatic cancer.
15. Drink milk
Apparently, calcium can guard against colon cancer. A recent study pointed out that people who consume more than 700 mg of calcium daily may reduce their colon risk by 45 percent compared to those who consume less than 500 mg.
And yeah, 700 mg of calcium may be a lot, but if you consume more dairy products daily, it can add up pretty fast. For example, a cup of low-fat yogurt can give you almost 350 mg of calcium, while a glass of low-fat milk offers about 300 mg.
Spinach is also a good source of calcium. One cup can give you almost 300 mg. If you’re looking for another great article, here’s a good one for you: 10 “Delicious” Leftovers You Shouldn’t Eat Even If They Are Amazing!