We are used to thinking that things like a huge hamburger or another piece of pizza do not do much damage. However, what happens when the risk goes far beyond abdominal swelling? What would you do if you knew that an unhealthy diet can be the door that lets in one of the most terrifying diseases? Yes, we talk about cancer.
A review published in 2008 by the Pharmaceutical Research estimated that at least between 90% and 95% of cancer cases in America have their origin in the terrible diets of patients. While this is an alarming figure, it can also be interpreted as good news: we can easily do something about it.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) outlines three basic habits for cancer prevention:
- Eat plant foods rich in nutrients.
- Be physically active every day
- Keep a healthy weight.
Know this and other 7 habits that will help you reduce the risk of cancer in the future.
10 Habits to reduce the risk of cancer
1.Eat more vegetables
It is not a coincidence that it is as a first habit in the list, since it is fundamental. Several studies have shown that vegetable consumption is associated with reducing the risk of some of the most common types of cancer. This could be explained in the important portion of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that they contain. Therefore, include them as a fundamental part of all your meals, including breakfast.
2.Get enough sleep
The lack of sleep sulks to anyone, no need for any studies to check it. According to experts in the area of health, skimping in hours by the pillow can bring all kinds of negative consequences: weight gain, stress accumulation, etc. In addition, when a person sleeps irregularly, the heart rate becomes irregular, producing changes in the body’s melatonin levels. These changes are precisely one of the most studied causes of some types of cancer.
Prevention in this case is extremely simple and naturally, pleasurable: sleep at least seven or eight hours a day will be more than enough. Also, it will prevent bags from getting under your eyes.
3.Maintain a healthy weight
The risks of overweight go beyond deteriorating physical appearance. Studies of New England Journal of Medicine estimated that obesity contributed to at least 20% of all cancer deaths in the United Kingdom during the past year.
Being overweight – or a BMI of 25 or greater – is linked to specific types of cancer, such as breast, colon and rectum, kidney, esophagus, pancreas and gallbladder. This has to do with its negative effects on the immune system and the processes of cell reproduction. Instead, maintain a healthy weight not only allow you to enjoy a healthy and agile body, but also protected against possible malignant tumors.
A study conducted in 2010 by the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine showed that decreasing stress levels increases the number of immune-defenders against diseases such as cancer. On the other hand, and while it is not a scientifically proven pattern, chronic stress can be dangerous to health. For example, people with stress may develop certain behaviors-smoking, eating, or drinking excessively-that could increase the risk of cancer.
The incorporation of practices such as therapy or meditation is an excellent alternative to manage the low tolerance to frustration, and thus reduce stress levels.
An important issue for both men and women is the promotion of breastfeeding, which helps prevent breast cancer even in women who have a family history of breast cancer. Although many mothers do not have this possibility, it is the option par excellence for both the mother and the baby.
6.Limit alcohol consumption
According to the recommendations of the AICR, the consumption of alcohol in excess is a significant risk factor for cancer of the head, neck, liver, pancreas and breast, among others.
One of the main reasons that alcohol is considered a risk factor has to do with the byproduct that is created from its metabolization, acetaldehyde, which is a well-known carcinogen.
7.Increase physical activity
Leading an active lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of breast, colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer. But you do not have to spend all day in the gym, because there are many ways to get moving without sacrificing so much time and effort. An average adult should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate activity, such as brisk walking or working in the garden, or 75 minutes of high intensity activities. Limiting the time before the screen – of the television, computer or cell phone – is also crucial.
8.Include grains and legumes in your diet
Like fresh fruits and vegetables, the minimally processed grains – barley, rice, barley and quinoa – are endowed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, which makes them an excellent anti-carcinogen
9.Eat enough fruits and vegetables
Eating fresh products is one of the quintessential habits to reduce the risk of cancer. The recommendations of the AICR indicate that at least two and a half cups of fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily; the goal is to fill half of your plate with them. These simple changes in your diet can even help you lose weight naturally and at a moderate pace.
Quitting smoking is perhaps the most important modifiable factor for cancer prevention. The current guidelines of the American Cancer Society on nutrition and physical activity for the prevention of cancer estimate that one third of cancer deaths could be avoided by eliminating exposure to tobacco products. In addition, the combination of tobacco and alcohol increase cancer risks in dramatic proportions, so it is imperative to stop their use in any context.