I’m sure we all know someone who has been touched by this devastating disease. It is the second leading cause of death in both Australia and New Zealand and has been slowly increasing over the last thirty years.
So what can we do?? Researchers say about a third of cancers are in some way related to our diets. So there are some nutritional guidelines that you can follow that may improve the odds against cancer prevention.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. Some studies have shown that a diet with loads of anti-oxidant rich fruit and vegetables can lower the risk of some cancers. Ensure you eat five or more servings of fruit and veg each day.
- Eat more fibre from whole grains instead of refined (processed) grains. Fibre (from whole grains and fruit & veg) can aid in the prevention of bowel cancer.Eat your beans,lentils and legumes regularly as these are excellent sources of insoluble fibre,which your body needs.Make sure you drink plenty of water!
- Reduce your processed food intake. Limit or avoid food items that come in packages,cans,bottles etc.Avoid processed meat ie;ham,sausages,bacon and any cured meat.Eat food that has been minimally processed; garden/sea to plate is the way to go.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol has been associated with mouth, throat and oesophagus cancer. Limit consumption to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 per day for women. Better still give alcohol a miss during the week, your mind will be clearer and more focused for work and other activities.
Apart from diet there are other things that come into play as well that can aid in cancer prevention:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase the odds of hormone dependent cancers like cancer of the cervix, prostrate or breast.
- Be active. Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day not only lowers the risks of cancer but also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
- Reduce the Stress in your Life. Look at your family,fun,work,social,life balance.Deal with issues and don’t be afraid to seek professional help!
- Get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Make an effort to be in bed and asleep by 10pm each night to ensure 8-9 hours sleep.
We can’t promise you that by following the above guidelines that you will never be diagnosed with cancer BUT they will all help in lowering the risks and go a long way to ensuring you are as fit and healthy as can be.