Natural Health Tips for Cancer Prevention
Cancer prevention is a very important strategy to help reduce your risk for cancer. With cancer diagnosis rates on the increase, it is very important to make sure that you have a good cancer prevention strategy that is specific to you and your health history. There are a variety of risk factors such as smoking, chronic infections, diet, exposure to radiation, occupational exposures, and family history, which will increase your risk for cancer. While this may seem scary, we want to send you a message of hope and let you know that there is a LOT you can do to help protect yourself and reduce your risk cancer. For this we will focus on 3 main areas in our life that we can control: home environment, diet, and lifestyle.
Here are ten tips you can put into practice right now to help get your cancer prevention strategy underway.
Top Ten Tips
- Unplug appliances like the tv and computer when not in use. This reduces our exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic field) which induce small currents that circulate in the body. An electrical field is produced by voltage – so the higher the voltage, the higher the EMF. And the EMF can exist even when the appliance is turned off. Also in this category of EMFs are cell phones, which is why you may have heard about keeping the phone away from your head while on a call. We suggest using a headset, or a speaker phone, and keeping the phone away from your head while you sleep. In fact, as much as possible, keep the phone away from your body period.
- Use glass instead of plastic for food and drink. Plastic is a source of PCBs (polychlorinated bipheyls) and BPA (Bisphenol-a) which mimic the estrogen hormone. Although some companies claim their products are BPA free, there is research which suggests that no source of plastic is completely BPA free. The best way to avoid exposure to it is to not use plastics at all with food or drink. Use glass containers to keep food in, and metal or glass water bottles.
- To help clean your indoor environment opt for indoor plants instead of chemical cleansers or air purifiers (check out our social media posts this week for researched plants you can use to clean up your indoor environment). Not only do indoor plants help to clean our indoor environment, but they also provide moisture for the air (especially when we’re shut indoors in the winter), and look great while they do it.
- No cancer prevention strategy is complete without some dietary interventions. First and foremost is to reduce sugar in the diet. There has been lots of attention in the media lately about the connection between sugar and cancer. Sugar provides fuel for cancer cells and helps them to grow – so by cutting off cancer’s fuel source, you can help to reduce your risk for cancer, and if you are currently fighting cancer, by cutting off sugar you can help starve the tumour cells of fuel. We recommend a high fat, low carb diet which will provide you with all the essential nutrients you need, and will reduce the risk of feeding cancerous cells.
- So, when we say reduce sugar we’re talking not only refined carbs like cakes, pastries, etc., but also breads, cereals, and other sources of carbs that are considered healthy. The best places to get your sugar fix from are vegetables and small servings of fruit (fruit tends to be higher in sugar). Veggies are a great source of antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals which have cancer fighting properties. In particular, cruciferous veggies (cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc), are known for having the ant-cancer properties.
- One of the many reasons we recommend a high fat diet for cancer prevention is that cancer cells cannot easily use fat as an energy source as they can sugar. In fact, some research says that cancer cells cannot convert fat for energy at all. Healthy Omega 3 fats are also anti-inflammatory and will help your body heal if you are dealing with chronic inflammation. Our favourite Omega 3 healthy fat sources are fish oil, flaxseed oil, camelina oil and hemp oil. You can also boost the fat content of any meal by adding avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil.
- Eat organic, whole fresh foods as much as possible. There has also been lots of media attention about the link between pesticides and cancer. Foods that have been certified organic are meant to be pesticide free. While buying everything organic can be costly, the Environmental Working Group has some handy shopping guides called the Dirty Dozen (12 produce items that have the highest amount of pesticide) and the Clean Fifteen (15 produce items that have little to no pesticide). We recommend buying any of the Dirty Dozen products as organic, and saving some money by buying conventional farming produce items from the Clean Fifteen such as avocados.
- When buying products whether they are food products or household products make sure you read the ingredient list very carefully. We like the rule that if you can’t pronounce the name in the ingredient list (for example if it’s a long complicated chemical compound sounding name), then don’t buy it. For household products avoid anything with phthalates in them as they can disrupt your hormones. If you’re not sure if the product contains phthalates you can check out the Think Dirty app, or if you’ve noticed the scent of the product lingers long after its use, then the product likely contains phthalates. Phthalates are known for helping scents last a long time.
- Another crucial aspect to any cancer prevention plan is sleep! There is no replacement for it. Not only is this the time when the body rests and repairs itself, but when we sleep in a dark room with no blue light, our body makes melatonin. This is important because melatonin is a natural antioxidant and is protective against cancer. If you can’t get your room dark enough, we recommend picking up a sleep mask. It’s the cheapest and easiest way to increase melatonin production while you sleep.
- Lastly, we all know that exercising is good for us, but if you need more motivation, exercise can help reduce your risk for cancer. When we build up a good sweat from exercising we’re able to flush toxins out of the body. Exercising also increases oxygen in the body – this is important because cancer is known to thrive in areas that are anaerobic meaning low oxygen. Oxygen is essential to help keep your cells healthy and reduce your risk for cancer.
Interested in creating a cancer prevention strategy that’s right for you? Then contact us about a free meet and greet with one of our practitioners.