With a new year brings new goals to eat healthy and lose those few extra pounds put on over Christmas. Instead of aiming for the quick fix, I ask people to start thinking about eating for long term health this year.
Every day in the UK approximately 900 people get diagnosed with cancer. That works out to be 300,000 every year. In every three people you know, one will develop cancer.
A few everyday changes can be made to help you reduce your risk of developing cancer.
1. Choose the salmon:
There is a strong relationship between eating red meat and increased risk of getting cancer. You should aim to limit red meat to no more than three to four times per week. On the other days try to include other high protein sources such as fish, poultry or dried, canned beans or lentils. Salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids which are great for the body due to their anti-inflammatory effect.
2. Limit your alcohol intake:
The more you drink the greater your risk of developing cancer. In the UK women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day, that's no more than your standard 175ml glass of wine. And for men it's three to four units per day, that's no more than a pint of strong lager, beer or cider. Other tips to help reduce your cancer risk are:
- Have two alcohol free days per week.
- Avoid binge drinking.
- Choose low alcohol drinks.
3. Eat more broccoli.
Broccoli which is known as a cruciferous vegetable, as well as brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and turnips are full of powerful compounds which get rid of carcinogens and contain good amounts of dietary fibre which can overall reduced cancer risk.
4. Go for the chicken sandwich for lunch
Research has shown that a high consumption of processed meats including sausages, salami, bacon and ham which are high in fat and salt has been linked to increased cancer risk, in particular colorectal cancer.
5. Enjoy fresh blueberries
Berries, mainly blueberries, contain compounds that stop damage to DNA that can lead to cancer development. Berries are also high in vitamin C and dietary fibre, which has also been shown to be protective against cancer.
6. Say no to the piece of cake
Processed foods such as cakes, takeaways, crisps, pastries and biscuits are high in sugar and fat, which leads to weight gain, a key risk factor for cancer. Carrying extra body weight, in particular around your middle has been shown to increase the risk of developing colon, pancreatic, and endometrial cancer.
7. Enjoy your cup of tea.
Tea, both black and green contain powerful antioxidants which prevent damage to your bodies DNA that can lead to cancer cell growth. Green tea in particular has been shown to slow or completely prevent the development of colon, liver, breast and prostate cancer cells.
8. Promote and support breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding has benefits for both Mother and child. Mothers who breastfeed have been shown to have a reduced risk of developing cancer, in particular of the breast and ovary. Breastfeeding also increases a baby's resistance to infection and disease, which can be beneficial in long term overall health.
What it comes down to is eating a healthy balanced diet reduces your risk of cancer where as a poor diet increases your cancer risk.