We all know that stopping smoking is perhaps the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk of getting cancer. We welcome you to download our free stop smoking checklist to see if you're ready.
Also, by implementing a healthy and cancer-conscious lifestyle and adopting a few simple habits, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting cancer and many other serious illnesses. Here are just a few of well-documented and reputably sourced cancer-fighting habits that we found surprising.
- Marinate with Rosemary
Certain chemical compounds called Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are found in meats like beef, pork, fish, and poultry after they are cooked using high-temperature frying and barbequing. These dangerous chemicals have been linked to cancer.
It is believed that the compounds may damage our DNA just enough to encourage tumour growth in the pancreas, breast, lymph, prostate, and the colon. One study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, found that regular eating charred meat may increase pancreatic cancer up to 60%. A study published this week links the same chemicals to breast cancer.
According to research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, cooking time is reduced by marinating the meat for just two hours before cooking. This practice reduced the amount of these harmful compounds. Additionally, in the US, University researchers found that using the herb, rosemary blocked the formation of the same cancer-causing compounds by up to 100 percent.
2. Enjoy a Glass of Wine or Beer
Research has shown that alcohol, in small amounts, has a protective ability against Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria, known to cause ulcers and a leading cause of stomach cancer. A study from Queens University in Belfast found that those who drank a small to moderate amount of wine or beer, (up to six glasses of wine or one pint of beer each week) had 11% fewer H.Pylori infections.
Mild to moderate alcohol intake has been shown to be effective in preventing ovarian cancer as well. Though it has also been shown that drinking more than one to two alcoholic beverages, a day could increase the risk of certain other cancers.
3. Eat More Fish
We know fish is healthy for our heart but did you know it could help you avoid cancer? According to one study those who ate oily fish like tuna and swordfish, and whitebait, three times a week or more, developed colon polyps and cancer 33 percent less often than those who didn’t eat the fish in those amounts. Fish, like wild-caught salmon, is packed with the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. These are most likely the reason behind the cancer-fighting effects.
Australian researchers have found that those who ate four or more servings of fish each week to be nearly 1/3 less likely to develop certain blood cancers. Other studies have shown a link between eating the fatty fish and shellfish, with a reduction of the risk of developing endometrial cancer for women.
4. Sleep in a Darkened Room
Researchers have recently discovered that exposure to light during sleeping hours may increase the danger of both breast and ovarian cancers. This is thought to be because the light acts to suppress normal production of melatonin, a brain chemical which regulates our sleep cycle. Deficient melatonin may increase the risk of estrogen-fueled cancer. A recent study showed an increased breast cancer risk among women who did not sleep during the times when their melatonin levels were highest, such as shift workers. Room darkening shades are advised for those who must sleep during the daylight hours.
5. Get Calcium
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the world. Recent studies have shown that calcium may protect against colon cancer. Individuals participating in a recent survey who consumed more than 700 mg of calcium from milk, per day, experienced a 45% reduction in the risk of colon cancer, compared to those who consumed less than 500 mg each day. 700 mg sounds like a lot, but it can add up fast. One cup of yoghurt contains 345 mg of calcium, and 1.25 cups of milk contain 355 mg of calcium. Calcium supplements did not seem to provide the same protection, likely due to decreased absorption. Non-dairy foods which are high in calcium are almond milk, kale, watercress, broccoli, and spinach.
6. Get Protected
The more sexual partners someone has had, the greater their risk for contracting HPV or the human papillomavirus. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer. It can also cause throat cancer in men and women, as well as and penile, vaginal, and anal cancer.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for children of both sexes from the age of 11 or 12, for women up to the age of 26 and men until the age of 21. This vaccine was first recommended in 2006. Since that time, there has been a 56% reduction in HPV infections among girls and women in the U.S., the CDC reports.
7. Take a Hike
Multiple studies conducted in recent years have consistently proven that women who exercise have a 30% to 40% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who are less active. According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, moderate exercise lowers blood oestrogen levels. Oestrogen is a hormone that can increase breast cancer risk.
A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine stated that scientists from the National Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School recognise that exercise contributes to decreasing the risk factors for 13 different types of cancer and many more other diseases.
8. Check Your Iodine Consumption
Iodine is a nutrient that is essential to every process in our body. We used to get iodine in sufficient enough quantities through our intake of iodized salt. Then came the knowledge that salt contributed to some serious diseases like hypertension and kidney disease. Next, we got our iodine from supplements in fortified white bread. Then we learned that white bread was unhealthy, contributing to many serious conditions, like obesity and diabetes. The result is that globally we are developing, in some cases —severe iodine deficiencies. Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of cognitive disturbances, hormonal imbalances and is blamed for some types of cancer.
Preventing cancer is one of the most frequently debated and discussed topics in the medical and public health communities. Cancer screening is one of the most critical interventions, as well as adopting healthy eating, environmental, and exercise habits. To learn more about the benefits of choosing a healthy lifestyle including how to quit smoking connect with us and download our free stop smoking checklist today.