How To Prevent Cancer by Leading an Anticancer Lifestyle
Despite the widespread public perception to the contrary, we are not helpless when it comes to how to prevent cancer. Whether you already have a diagnosis and are hoping to improve your survival chances, or you simply wish to learn more about how to prevent cancer, you can. Taking specific “anticancer” steps can help give your body the strength it needs to fight harder and live better, both before and after diagnosis.
Improve Your Diet.
One of the first steps you can take toward fighting or avoiding cancer is to clean up your diet. Fats and sugars contribute to unhealthy lifestyle factors like obesity, fatigue and stress, so you they should be minimized from in your diet. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins such as eggs, fish, beans and chicken. Although the options are too numerous to detail here, you can find a comprehensive list of fruits, veggies, spices, proteins, grains and even beverages at Eat to Beat Cancer.
Calm Your Mind.
At the risk of sounding like a new-age guru, it is critical to maintain a peaceful and calm mind. Although stress does not “cause” cancer, it can lead to unhealthy behaviors that do, such as overeating, smoking, lack of sleep, or sedentary behaviors. Stress also raises the body’s levels of stress hormones, which depresses your immune system, reducing your chances of staying fighting fit after an illness. Find a healthy outlet for stress, such as prayer, meditation, yoga or other calming hobbies.
Get Regular Exercise.
Your “calming hobby” needn’t be peaceful on its own. In fact, vigorous exercise on a regular basis is one of the best ways to reduce your levels of stress and promote good health. It has numerous protective benefits, such as keeping you nice and slim, protecting joints and bones, reducing blood pressure and the risk of other weight-associated diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Ideally you should get in a good sweat several times a week, but more moderate amounts of exercise are very beneficial too. If you lack ideas, check out the CDC’s table of General Physical Activities.
Get Enough Sleep.
Poor sleeping habits have many negative effects on your health and overall function due to lowering of the body’s defenses and increase in stress hormones. Not getting enough sleep can lead to recurrent illnesses, weight gain, fatigue and misery. It is vital to get approximately eight hours per night. If you naturally have trouble sleeping, keep electronics and other distractions out of your bedroom. Developing a sleep routine, making your room as dark as possible, using a sleep machine can help promote better “sleep hygiene”.
It is important to keep in mind that no single lifestyle step or combination of them can cure cancer or guarantee that you will avoid getting it. However, lifestyle modifications give your body the strength it needs to slow down cancer growth, reduce your chances of developing it, or improve your chance of fighting it.
Overall, these lifestyle changes will improve your time on earth cancer or no cancer.