We all want to try to prevent cancer-or if we already have it, we’re looking for ways to beat it. With all the information coming at us, however, it can sometimes be confusing. Is there no simple way to increase our odds of living healthier?
We did a previous post on Dr. David Schreiber’s book Anticancer: A New Way of Life, and I wanted to expand on his recommendations. Schreiber went through chemotherapy and surgery for brain cancer. Altogether, he’s battled with the disease for 15 years, and attributes his recent seven-year experience of being cancer free to a regimen that boosts the body’s natural defenses.
Here are the doctor’s twenty new “anticancer” rules, based on the most recent scientific findings.
Changes to make to your diet.
1. Learn to like veggies. The more often you can eat them, the better. Turn a habit on its head-instead of seeing meat as the main course and vegetables as the side, use meat for taste or as a side dish, and vegetables as the main course.
2. Mix up your greens. Just because you like peas doesn’t mean you should eat them every day. Mix it up-combine your broccoli with onions and garlic, for instance. The next day, go for spinach with pearl onions.
3. Organic is better. Most studies show that organic produce is lower in pesticides and higher in nutrients.
4. Get spicy. Several spices have been found to have potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. Flavor-up your foods with tumeric, black pepper, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, and more.
5. Pass on the potatoes. Because they raise blood sugar (the carbs are broken down quickly), they have the potential to feed inflammation and cancer growth. They can also contain high levels of pesticide residue.
6. Find more fish. You’ve heard how they contain health omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish 2-3 times a week-like salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies, all of which have less mecury than bigger fish like tuna. Limit your intake of swordfish and shark.
7. Be selective with your eggs. Many poultry farms feed their hens corn and soybeans, which can make the eggs contain fewer good fatty acids and more bad ones. Choose eggs rich in omega-3s from hens raised in more healthy environments.
8. Oust the bad oils. Soybean, corn, and sunflower oils have too many bad fatty acids. Choose olive and canola oils instead, which are rich in good, omega-3 fatty acids.
9. Wipe out the white flour. Choose whole grains like wheat, oats, barley, spelt, and flax, preferably organic to lower pesticide exposure. Watch out for white-flour breads, muffins, and pastries.
10. Sweeten your day with fruit. We all ingest too much sugar. Avoid soft drinks, and use fruit treats for dessert. To satisfy your sweet tooth: a few squares of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
11. Drink green tea. Go for 3 cups a day.
12. Don’t deprive yourself. You can splurge now and then. Work toward a more healthy diet on a daily basis.
Changes to make in other areas of your life.
13. Move, move, move. Walk, dance, bike, run, hit the stairs. Try for 30 minutes a day at least five days a week.
14. Get some sun. You need the vitamin D. Aim for 20 minutes a day of sunscreen-free exposure on your arms and legs, and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement.
15. Lower your toxic exposure. Read labels, and buy more natural products. Air-out your dry cleaning, heat foods in ceramic or glass containers, avoid chemical pesticides in your house and garden, and use stainless steel bottles for water.
16. Get in touch. Close relationships fuel health. Make time to get together with friends and family.
17. Breathe right. Try some meditation practices, and remember to breathe from the lower belly, to promote relaxation.
18. Give back. The act of giving produces good-feeling endorphins in the body. Find a way that you can give back, and follow through at least once a month.
19. Be nice to yourself. Strive to do one nice thing for yourself every day!
Do you think you could make these changes for your health? Let us know your thoughts.
Photo courtesy avotiya via Flickr.com.