You might have heard or read some conflicting views about cancer prevention. There are ongoing studies about ways to avoid cancer, and the views are still evolving. However, one thing to keep in mind is that one reason why cancer has been on the rise lately has a lot to do with our lifestyle and dietary choices. According to the doctors almost 70% of known causes of cancer are avoidable, and by switching our habits we can reduce our risks of getting cancer.
So, if you have been concerned about ways to prevent cancer, take comfort in the fact that there are some concrete and widely accepted ways which dwindle your chances of developing cancers. Living a healthy lifestyle in which you incorporate a balanced diet and exercise and avoid tobacco products being your first line of defense, but recent studies have revealed there are a number of small ways which you can weave in to your life to avert the disease. We have compiled twenty ways to never get cancer, try these novel approaches and lessen your chances of getting a wide range of ailments remarkably.
“One thing to keep in mind is that one reason why cancer has been on the rise lately has a lot to do with our lifestyle and dietary choices. According to the doctors almost 70% of known causes of cancer are avoidable, and by switching our habits we can reduce our risks of getting cancer.”
20. Cut Out Soda
We all know soda leads to obesity and diabetes, but did you know they also increase your probability of getting endometrial cancer? Sugary drinks lead to obesity and stomach fat, the fat cells around your waist can give you heart diseases and even cancer. Those who consume sugary drinks and soda have up to 87 percent higher chances of getting endometrial cancer.
- Switch to natural juices, instead. The natural sugars in fruits will take care of those sugar cravings and also keep you energized for longer
- Juice such as cranberry and apple are also antioxidants, regular consumption of these will also help you get rid of the toxicity build up in liver which can lead to many digestive related problems.
19. Love Your Coffee
Did you know coffee lovers who drank up to five cups of coffee a day reduce their chances of getting brain cancer by up to 40%? It also reduces your chances of getting throat and oral cancer. Coffee is not just a great wake-me-up; caffeine gives you instant energy. For some people even the aroma of coffee is soothing.
- However, here we are not talking about those 400 calorie lattes here.
- Black coffee boosts your metabolism and regulates the digestive system
- Green coffee has also become a popular choice in the recent years for people who want to lose weight and stay energized.
18. Say Cheers
Sip a glass of wine or beer once in a while. Alcohol protects our digestive system against Helicobacter pylori; this bacterium is responsible for causing duodenum and peptic ulcers which can later turn into intestinal or stomach cancer. Several studies have shown advantages of moderate social drinking. It is a great stress buster, as the anxiolytic properties of alcohol regulate our GABA receptors and calm our brains.
- Study at Queens University, Belfast revealed that consuming 3-6 glasses of wine or 1-2 pints of beer a week reduces your chances of developing Helicobacter pylori by 11%
- The key here is moderation, too much of anything is bad especially alcohol if you drink too much alcohol it may increase chances of developing liver, mouth, throat and breast cancer.
17. Pack On Resistant Starch
Not all starch is bad for you. Resistant starch actually reduces risk of colon cancer. High consumption of red meat leads to cell proliferation, regular consumption of foods which are high in resistant starch regulates cell proliferation levels. These foods reduce our cholesterol and blood fat. They give you the necessary energy to work and make you feel fuller for longer.
- Foods such as green bananas, rolled oats and white beans are loaded with resistant starch
- Have rolled oats either as cereal or as energy bars
- You could try making a smoothie of green bananas, yoghurt and honey for breakfast.
16. Have More Cruciferous Veggies
Our mothers were right when they forced us to eat broccoli. Although they didn’t know this but latest research has reveled that broccoli is one of the super foods when it comes to cancer prevention. Cruciferous are packed with Glucosinolate, Vitamin A, C, E and K. They help in giving a boost to our immune system, digestive system, are good for bone density and also help fight obesity by regulating our cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Cancer researchers say consuming at least one vegetable from the cruciferous family once a week is one of the best ways to prevent cancer.
- Broccoli, bok choy, cabbage and cauliflower are all power houses of nature which help fight against kidney cancer
- To get the maximum benefit out of these always steam your veggies if you are not consuming them in raw form. Boiling, frying or microwaving broccoli or bok choy release the nutrients in cooking water.
- Clear cabbage soup is another way to get most out of this vegetable. It is a great way to keep you feeling full and get all the good nutrients from it.
“Our mothers were right when they forced us to eat broccoli. Although they didn’t know this but latest research has reveled that broccoli is one of the super foods when it comes to cancer prevention.”
15. Eat Garlic
As it turns out garlic is not just good for keeping the vampires away but also those nasty cancer cells. It is one of nature’s best antifungal and antibacterial herbs. Garlic is rich in sulfur; this fuels the natural defense mechanism of our immune system against cancer cells. Regular consumption of garlic may even flush out some of the toxins which may lead to production of cancer cells or die naturally. This process is called apoptosis, and garlic has the tendency to aid this. If you aren’t too fond of the pungent herb you may
- Get garlic tablets, which are commonly available in health food stores
- Use garlic in pickled form
- Regular consumption of garlic is also a great way to cut on cholesterol.
14. Add Onions To Your Diet
When it comes to ways to prevent cancer, onions are included in most lists. Yes, ladies they are nothing to cry about. Onion is rich in sulfur and flavonoids and has superb antioxidant properties. Several studies have concluded that onions are rich in compounds which inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and prove to be a great defense against different types of cancers.
- Shallots, Northern Red and Western Yellow are the richest source of antioxidants
- Scallions and chives are not only mild in taste but also have milder antioxidant powers
- Onion can also be consumed in pickled form if you can’t bear the thought of onion breath
- Another way to consume them is adding chopped shallots and scallions to your salads and omelets.
13. Commit To Green Tea
Green tea boosts your metabolism by up to 4%, although lower in caffeine content but increases your heart rate and blood circulation as efficiently as coffee. Green tea is a great antioxidant and for some people even works as an appetite suppressant. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends at least 4 cups of green tea a day to get the maximum benefits.
- It suppresses the growth of cancer cells by flushing out toxins and better circulation helps in absorption of nutrients, giving a boost to over all immunity
- If you aren’t too fond of ht beverages you can even sip it as iced tea with a slice of lemon and a bit of honey.
12. Snack On Red Grapes
Red grapes are rich in resveratrol. It is an antioxidant which has the power to slow the growth of cancer cells in breast, liver, stomach and lymph nodes. Resveratrol also helps restore collagen in skin, and subdues the damage caused by excessive smoking and sun exposure. Red grapes not only help fight signs of aging but also help prevent skin cancer.
- Although all grape skins are packed with resveratrol, red and purple grapes have the highest content of this nutrient
- You can also add red grapes to your salads to include them in your diet.
11. Increase Your Calcium Intake
Milk just doesn’t give you strong bones and teeth; it is also one of the best ways to ward off colon cancer. This claim of fame was derived from a number of studies, where the participants who consumed at least 1,200 mg of calcium per day reduced their chances of developing colon cancer by up to 45%. Milk is not the only source of calcium if you want to meet your daily requirements of calcium. If you are thinking 1,200 mg sounds a lot, actually it’s not.
- Start with a cup of low fat yoghurt (350 mg), add a glass of low-fat milk to lunch (300 mg) and add a cup of spinach (300 mg) to your salad at dinner and have a glass of milk just before bed (300 mg)
- You can consume milk with your cereal, take low-fat cheese with bread or have yoghurt as a low-fat snack and you will be good to go.
10. Enjoy The Goodness Of Kiwis & Berries
Kiwis and berries such as blueberry, blackberry and strawberry are small in size but do not underestimate these little goodies when searching out for ways to prevent cancer. Berries are nature’s antioxidants encumbered with pectin. Pectin binds itself to the water in our bodies and limits the absorption of fat and toxins. It regulates the functioning of liver and safeguards against liver and stomach cancers. In addition to be antioxidant kiwis are also loaded with Vitamin C & E, lutein and copper
- Berries and kiwis make a great snack anytime of the day
- You can add them to yoghurt or make summer coolers and punches out of these.
9. Include Seafood In Your Diet
A study undertaken by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveled that women who consumed sea food three times a week reduced their chances of developing fibroids and polyps by 33%. Some other studies have revealed that regular consumption of fish helps fight against blood cancer leukemia, myeloma and endometrial cancer as well. Fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which is anti-inflammatory, which the scientists believe is the main agent which fights against cancer cells.
- Salmon is said to be the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Shrimp, halibut, sardines and scallops also have high level of natural fatty acids
- Grilled or smoked salmon makes a great dinner choice anytime.
“If you still don’t exercise, this might be just the perfect motivator. Studies have shown that people who are not active and spend most of their time sitting have higher chances of developing colon and endometrial cancer.”
8. Snack On Brazilian Nuts
Brazilian nuts are potent in selenium, this antioxidant helps reduces chances of bladder cancer especially in women. Studies have shown that people with high levels of selenium in their bodies have lower risks of suffering from lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Selenium can protect against free radical damage cells and furthermore, it impedes the growth of tumor nourishing blood vessels.
- Study by Harvard Medical School concluded that men with higher levels of selenium in their blood vessel were 48% less prone to acquire prostate cancer
- The best part is that just two unshelled Brazilian nuts are enough to meet our daily requirements of selenium.
7. Stay Active & Burn Off Your Risks
If you still don’t exercise, this might be just the perfect motivator. Studies have shown that people who are not active and spend most of their time sitting have higher chances of developing colon and endometrial cancer. This is also a warning for all those couch potatoes. Regular work outs burns off fat, the fat cells have the capability of producing estrogen. Higher levels of estrogen are a major cause of breast cancer in women.
- Moderate exercise such as even walking for 2 hours a week reduces the risk of breast cancer by 18%
- If your job involves sitting for long hours, try to take a break of five minutes every hours and stretch your limbs.
6. Soak In The Sun
Natural sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D and contributes to 90% of our body’s Vitamin D need. Vitamin D is not only good for our bones, but also makes our cells gel together. When there is space in between the cells due to Vitamin D deficiency it allows the free radical cancer cells to start spreading rapidly. Vitamin D also helps in healthy cell maturation and division, any disruption in the process may lead towards tumor formation. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to cancers of the ovaries, prostate, breast and colon and other ailments such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and elevated levels of blood pressure.
- It is important to keep in mind that overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer.
- Getting the sun for 15 minutes is more than enough
- Avoid sun exposure during day, morning sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D
- Another reason to go running or walking first thing in the morning?
5. Avoid Tanning Salons
Continuing along the same lines, tanning beds and sun bathing are very harmful for the skin. They not only speed up the process of aging but also the damage can be a cause of skin cancer. An important thing to keep in mind is that tanning sprays and lotions are not risk-free either. They have a high content of dehydroxyacetone (DHA). FDA does not approve of DHA and warns that it can cause cancer.
- While using tanning lotions and sprays a large amount of DHA is inhaled, therefore the safest thing to do is no tanning at all
- However, if you must absolutely do it, use a lotion and protect your eyes, mouth and nose.
4. Avoid Drying Lamps
This is something we all do without considering the repercussions. These lamps emit UVA radiations, although most of the radiation is quite low to harm you after a couple of uses but repeated visits to the salon do increase your risks of cancer.
- An average of 14 visits to the salon over a period of 2 years is enough to harm your DNA
- Either try to avoid the drying lamps or use a hair dryer instead to dry your nails quickly
- It is better to wear sunscreen every time you go for a manicure.
3. Avoid The Drycleaners
According to findings by the EPA and National academics of Science most drycleaners use a substance called perc for dry-cleaning. This causes liver, kidney and blood cancer. The workers who handle these chemically treated clothes are at a very high risk. Though the consumers are still at risks but the risk might be lesser. You should
- Buy clothes that don’t require dry-cleaning
- Hand washing your clothes reduces the risk exposure to perc
- If you have clothes that require dry-cleaning, take them out of the plastic bags once you collect them from the dry-cleaners and let them sit in the sun for a while before wearing them.
2. Take Care Of Your Sexual Health
Having unprotected sex with multiple partners increases your chances of contracting human papillomavirus, or HPV, which may lead to cancer of the cervix, throat, penile, vaginal, and anal cancer. HPV vaccine was introduced in 2006 and after that there has been a remarkable decrease in HPV cases reported.
- The vaccine should be used for both males and females between the age of 11 and 12
- If you haven’t been vaccinated against HPV you can still get it till the age of 26 for women and 21 for men.
1. Sleep In Complete Darkness
Did you know that exposure to light at night may increase your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer? A chemical in our brain called melatonin regulates our sleep-awake cycles. Too much light can suppress the normal production of melatonin, which increases the levels of estrogen in our bodies. This can trigger the production of estrogen-fueled cancer cells.
- Golden rule to follow early to bed, early to rise
- To ensure uninterrupted production of melatonin sleep in complete dark or wear an eye mask.
This is your comprehensive and very easy to follow guide on how to avoid cancer. You will find that you can easily make these small changes in your diet and life style. You don’t have to follow all these ways to prevent cancer but try to incorporate as many as you can for a healthy you. Most of these things are not just cancer prevention methods, but will give you added benefits.
Some More Do’s & Don’ts for Cancer Prevention
- Do go for regular screening and check-ups and never ignore any persistent pains and aches
- Use filter for tap water to protect you from all those hormone disrupting chemicals
- When filling the tank of your car stop as the nozzle clicks, don’t top the tank as it makes the benzene spill making contact with your skin and releasing the fumes into air.
- Do have 8 glasses or more of water every day, as reduces chances of bladder cancer
- Don’t use cell phones for long calls and if it is completely avoidable use hands-free device
- Don’t take too many multivitamins and substitutes. Although they are good for you but alleviated levels can work like double swords and trigger production of cancer cells
- Don’t get unnecessary scans as they expose you to very high radiations
- Don’t skimp on sunscreen or expose bare skin to midday sun
- Don’t have too much packaged and artificially flavored food.