Statistics from the American Institute for Cancer Research states that 1 in 3 cancers can be prevented by staying lean that is maintaining a healthy weight, eating smart and moving more (being physically active for at least 30minutes every day) 33 cases of every 100 cancer cases could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes.
The following are activities that can be adopted to ensure we maintain a healthy life. These practices can be developed into routines that fit individual lifestyle.
· Maintain healthy body weight: A healthy weight is idea for good health.
o Check Body Mass Index (BMI) frequently.
· Exercise: Do regular exercise for at least 30-60minutes daily, avoid sedentary lifestyle.
o Brisk walking can be as good as jogging.
o Swimming is great for overall toning of the skin and all round exercise.
o Cardiovascular exercise is key for it increase heart and strength of contraction.
o For those with space constraint, marching on the spot is ideal.
o Exercise reduce stress, stress, stabilize breathing and improves coordination.
o It is advisable to undertake a round of stretching before and after jogging to improve blood circulation to and from the muscle.
o Jogging should be done for 30minutes daily at least 3 days a week.
· Reduce cocktails / alcohol intake: increased intake of alcohol and cocktails can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
· Quit Smoking: Smoking increase the risk of developing cancer.
o Reduce tobacco smoke and its by-products from exposure through active smoking for it accelerates ovarian follicular atrophy thereby accelerating menopause and increasing risk of cervical cancer.
o Passive smoking is equally dangerous therefore women should avoid close contact with smokers and advise their husbands not to smoke around them.
· Eat fresh food: Choose diet high in fiber and antioxidants ((cancer fighting foods).
o Reduce foods high in carbohydrate for when in excess it is stored in the adipose tissue which secrets oestrogen and increases the risk of cancer.
o Limit fat intake and adopt low fat diet with more fruits and vegetables.
o Reduce red meat intake.
· Nutrition: Certain food can reduce risk of developing cancer.
o Vitamin A: Reduce the risk in those with family history: carrot, sweet potatoes, dried herbs and leafy vegetables.
o Vitamin E: Clinically proven to slow growth of cancer cells because it contains antioxidants: spinach, nuts, wheat, fish, sea foods, tropical fruits and also effective when taken as a vitamin pill.
o Vitamin D: Reduce by slowing growth of cancer: fatty fish (salmon), milk, fortified cereal, orange juice and eggs.
o Fiber: Reduce estrogen level such as brown or whole grain, flaxseed, fiber cereal, beans, wheat bread.
o Fruits & Vegetables: Vitamins and nutrients to lower risk; aim for five (5) servings a day: cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, dark and leafy green vegetables (pumpkin leaf popularly known as ugwu).
· Birth control: Increase the risk of developing breast cancer due to presence of high doses of exogenous (foreign) oestrogen especially in women who already have predisposing factors of breast cancer. A combination therapy or low dose of oestrogen based birth control is advised.
· Breastfeeding: For at least 6months up to 2 years reduce the estrogen level which may lower risk of developing cancer and also reduce overall risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Shedding of tissue during lactation eliminate breast cancer cells at the end of lactation.
Finally, eating the right diet in the right amount, keeping your weight under control and daily exercise can all go a long way in promoting healthy living. Eat right, be physically active and remain healthy.
En-pact Solutions Limited, 2012
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