Posted on Dec 24, 2019, 4 p.m.
In recent years the number of people affected by cancer is on the rise, the American Cancer Society estimates that from the some 1.7 million new cancer cases at least 42% were newly diagnosed cases, and nearly 740,000 were avoidable.
The avoidable new cases of cancer includes the 19% of cancers caused by smoking and 18% caused by combinations of excess BMI, high alcohol intake, poor nutrition, and living a sedentary lifestyle. The good news is that certain simple and healthy lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risk of cancer, and nature can add to the cancer fighting benefits that will help you to healthy and cancer free.
Maintaining an overall healthy diet is one of the best lines of defense against many health problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, and cancer is not an exception to the benefits of following a healthy diet, and making better/healthier lifestyle choices.
Studies have shown links between inflammation and cancer progression: One published in the journal Nature suggests that many cancers can start from a point of infection(s), chronic irritation and inflammation; Cox-2 for example is an enzyme responsible for increasing inflammation and promoting cancer. Increasing the amount of anti-inflammatory foods in the diet to counteract inflammatory compounds can be very beneficial. Curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids have been used for hundreds of years for their potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Many cancers begin with some sort of DNA damage that triggers cells to become cancerous, one of the main culprits is oxidative stress caused by accumulation of harmful free radical molecules which leave you vulnerable to cancer and increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, pecans, and kale can help to combat the oxidative stress of dangerous free radicals.
As healthy cells approach the end of their existence they undergo apoptosis/cell death, however, cancer cells work differently and ignore the signals that trigger this process and keep replicating. Consuming more foods that contain curcumin and those found in cruciferous vegetables such as DIM I3C can help to destroy cancer cells by promoting their self destruction.
Cancers are often characterized by metastasis or the spread to nearby organs, certain nutrients such as sulforaphane which is also found in cruciferous vegetables can help to promote inhibition of the tumor’s ability to spread.
Once a tumor has developed it requires a steady supply of blood to keep growing, to do so the body develops new blood vessels, this is called angiogenesis. Consuming more foods that contain epigallocatechin gallate which is found in abundance in green tea can be an effective way to inhibit the process of angiogenesis.
Abnormal estrogen levels can lead to serious side effects, inhibitors can block production in the body, but there are many natural ways to regulate your hormones. Lignans from flax seeds, for example, can bind to excess aggressive estrogens in the body and expel them, and melatonin found in cherries can help to put cancer to “sleep.”
Adopting a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in organic fresh produce can help you to stay cancer free and live a much longer and healthier life, keep in mind that this works best when paired with a physically active lifestyle.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.