How intentional nutrition and health practices can help prevent cancer
There is a multitude of ways to prevent or at least reduce the risk of cancer naturally and holistically.
The American Cancer Society estimates that the number of new cancer cases in 2020 will hover around 1.8 million, and roughly 600,000 of those will be fatal.
While the instances of death from most types of cancer have decreased over the last twenty years, the cases of new diagnoses have increased over the previous ten, according to the CDC.
According to the American Cancer Society, “Cancer is caused by external factors, such as tobacco, infectious organisms, an unhealthy diet, and internal factors, such as inherited genetic mutations, hormones, and immune conditions. These factors may act together or in sequence to cause cancer.”
While it remains true that some people are at a higher risk of developing cancer because of genetics, disease, or environmental toxins, lifestyle changes can and do make a tremendous difference in the likelihood of preventing this dreaded disease.
A conscious, holistic approach to cancer prevention
Diet, exercise, regular screening, safe sex, abstinence or moderate alcohol consumption, tobacco avoidance, vaccines, meditation, conscious breathing, and a positive attitude among other things can contribute to our overall health and well-being.
A holistic approach to prevention is an approach that encompasses the proper care of mind, body, and spirit.
Intentional nutrition is key to fighting free radicals and radiation particles in our bodies.
Free radicals and radiation particles that sit in the body contribute to cells’ deformation and cellular function degeneration. Increasing certain foods in your diet can help your body to increase the rate of elimination.
Eat organic produce that is high in pectin. Pectin naturally binds to radioactive residue in our bodies, acting as a natural chelating agent. Some fruits high in pectin are apples, guavas, citrus fruits, gooseberries, and plums.
Chlorophyll rich foods decrease radiation toxicity. Parsley, dark leafy greens like chard and kale, chlorella, wheatgrass, and alfalfa are all examples of chlorophyll-rich foods.
Seaweeds are high in natural iodine. Our bodies need to have adequate natural iodine levels to protect us from radioactive iodine accumulation in our thyroids, leading to mutations, swelling, and cancer.
Water flushes our bodies of toxins and wastes that we do not need. Drinking at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day will not only help flush out toxins, but it will also help keep you adequately hydrated.
Periodic cleansing fasts. Fasting on bone or vegetable broths, organic fruit, aloe vera and lemon juices, or some other tried and true cleansing practices can rid the body of toxic build-up. Research carefully or consult a nutritionist to see what kind of a cleanse suits your needs best.
Take activated charcoal. Activated charcoal can bind to toxic particles in your body and, if taken periodically, can help remove them.
Cannabis can be taken as daily maintenance to discourage your autoimmune system’s degeneration and help combat environmental stresses. Your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many aspects of your health and wellbeing, including your susceptibility to certain types of cancer.
Taking care of your body is about more than just nutrition.
Though we often consider what we eat, we sometimes forget to pay attention to other healthy practices that we can do to care for our bodies and minds.
A regular exercise routine that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat will also help move toxins out of your body more quickly.
Get plenty of rest and enough sleep every night. Sleep is a vital and often overlooked part of healthcare; getting enough sleep helps prevent weight gain, heart disease, stress, and other health issues.
Dry brush your body for 5 minutes a day to increase your lymphatic circulation, responsible for removing toxins and disease from the body. There are many dry brushes on the market, find one that can work for you, and work it into your routine before taking a shower. Make sure you follow instructions on how to brush your body to support your lymphatic system.
Protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing, and by avoiding overexposure. Spend time outdoors when the sun is lower in the sky and stay shaded wherever possible. Need a little color? Topical sunless tanning products are generally considered safe and can give you that healthy sun-kissed glow without the danger to your skin’s health. Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps, which are equally as damaging to your skin as the sun.
See your doctor now and then to get regular screenings and checkups! Early detection of abnormalities can save you from getting cancer and go a long way toward helping you cure cancer if you do get it.
A healthy mind and spirit are an essential part of health care and prevention.
When it comes to our health, mind over matter definitely plays a big part in our well-being. One 2016 Study showed that a positive attitude in women resulted in a 16% lower risk of cancer, an outcome likely influenced by healthy behaviors, such as exercising regularly and eating healthily.
But newer research from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, found that healthy behaviors are only partially responsible for lower risk in optimists.
The Harvard team speculated that there is actually a direct, intrinsic biological link between positivity, happiness, and health.
“We don’t know for sure, but we think that positivity could reduce inflammation and raise antioxidants levels,” said Dr. Eric Kim, Social and Behavioural Sciences expert and lead author of the study.
There are a number of ways we can contribute to our mental health and positive attitude:
- Daily yoga and meditation.
- Making a daily gratitude list.
- Consciously changing our thoughts about ourselves, others, and the world around us.
- Keeping up with social and familial connections.
- Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
- Creating joy and laughter in our lives.
Lynette Garet is a bilingual freelance writer. A U.S. ex-pat living in Costa Rica with her partner Sil, when not busy with writing projects, she can be found hanging with her favorite “stinky boys” (the Grand-Littles), tending her garden, cooking, reading, enjoying good wine, and dancing in the kitchen to music from a limitless list of genres.