October 29, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller
As the end of October closes in and the pink ribbons get packed away, it seems to be an appropriate time to incorporate some Cancer Prevention measures into our daily lives so that in the future, there will not be a need for a ‘Cancer Awareness’ month–for any kind of cancer–since we have now become aware of basic cancer prevention measures and have built them into our daily routines. Our old mindset of fearful waiting to see if we ‘get’ the cancer diagnosis is replaced with calm confidence built on the understanding of what it takes to keep our cancer risks as low as possible.
Our daily lifestyle choices (especially what we choose to eat) can make some of the biggest differences in minimizing our overall risk of developing cancer—or for cancer survivors in remission, minimizing the risk of recurrence. I believe that the majority of us are quite ‘aware’ of cancer and the devastating effects it can have. Let’s MOVE ON from this awareness to FULL ON ACTIONS that make us less likely to ever be diagnosed with it in the first place. Below are a few of many actions you can take to improve your cancer prevention efforts:
What’s For Dinner? (or Supper if you’re from the Midwest) A DAILY big green salad of course…spinach, mixed greens, romaine, arugula…just NO iceberg (truly not worth eating—basically crunchy water!) And on those wonderful greens, a healthy olive oil dressing—NOT a bottled version containing unhealthy fats (refer to my April 8, 2013 blog posting on bottled dressings).
Broccoli Sue! Why not? There are already toddlers with names including Apple, Clementine, Plum, and Olive—Why not Broccoli? I have been waiting for a celeb to choose Broccoli for the perfect name of their little one…Broccoli Sue! It is so incredibly good for us. Including Broccoli at least weekly (actually, shoot for 2-3 times/week) is a great step in cancer prevention. Just sauté or steam lightly, and add a bit of olive oil & garlic—or organic butter & a few red pepper flakes—or a little coconut oil & curry powder…no heavy, cheesy sauces needed!
No Sun Glasses Needed Vitamin D supplementation to maintain optimal blood levels is one of the safest and easiest steps to take. Plan to ask your health care provider for a yearly blood test to make sure you are in the optimal range. Newer research (not from pharmaceutical companies) are finding that most people require 3000-5000 IU of Vitamin D daily to maintain optimal levels, with some requiring even more.
Pitch the Boxes, Bags, and Cans Processed foods (at least the vast majority) contain multiple unpronounceable chemicals as preservatives and flavorings, with some falling into the cancer-causing category. Check out your cupboards and pantry…start with one processed food-type and make plans to NOT buy it any more. Substitute with other healthier ingredients. Once you have taken care of that one, move on to the next processed food to eliminate (pick one that you use frequently) and keep the process going. Several years ago I decided not to buy any more canned cream soups (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom…). Substituting sour cream or Greek yogurt and adding appropriate healthy seasonings has worked quite well—easy peasy.
Sweat It Out Just Do It—Exercise that is—with a solid goal of 5 times a week—for at least 30 minutes a day. Making this a way of life may take sitting down with your calendar with a mindset of ‘This is some of the most important time (only 30 minutes!) in my day…it has to fit in to my schedule…that’s the bottom line.’ There are so many exercise options—DVD’s are available for just about any type of exercise you can think of—and they eliminate the excuse that it’s too cold/hot/snowy/rainy/windy out side!
Kick It Up! Turmeric, Ginger, Oregano…all wonderful, powerful herbs with major anti-inflammatory effects. Much of what is a part of many of our days…stress, diet sodas, regular sodas & sugary drinks, processed foods,…contribute to inflammation in our bodies, which has now been clearly linked to many of the major diseases and health conditions (heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer, Parkinson’s, obesity, depression…). Incorporating a simple anti-inflammatory herbal blend daily supplement, along with using these great herbs in food preparation, is a great step towards minimizing inflammation—along with minimizing inflammatory foods and stress relief.
It truly is the simple steps–that get built into regular habits–that can positively impact our cancer prevention efforts–along with our overall health promotion.
Here’s to your ever-improving health–
Sana Keller, MS, RN, CNC, MH, HHP http://www.healthunlimited.biz
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