Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Proper nutrition is so incredibly vital--many diseases are avoidable simply by eating your greens!  From general health to longevity--let your food be your medicine, and your fountain of youth!  As I draw very close to my 40th birthday, it's becoming more and more clear to me where my path will continue to lead me, with respect to my nutrition--right to the food garden and farmer's market!

Along that vein, I have a guest blogger today, David Haas from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Take it away David!

Striking a Balance in the Quest for Prevention

While nutrition and exercise won't cure cancer, they can pack a powerful one-two punch in the effort to avoid cancer in the first place.  Just as there are some foods and activities that can increase the potential for certain types of cancers, there are also some that decrease the likelihood.  Prevention is always preferable to treatment; someone experiencing mesothelioma treatment side effects, for example, may not feel geared up for exercise.

There are many foods that offer powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can aid in cancer prevention, but there's no need to limit your diet to a few foods.  Instead, look at foods that offer the nutrients you need for your own lifestyle.  For example, calcium has been shown to reduce the instance of colorectal cancer, but a high dose of calcium may actually increase the risks of prostate cancer.  For women, this is hardly an issue, and women are at greater risk for other ailments like osteoporosis and can thus consume a diet high in calcium more readily than a man can.

Women looking to boost their calcium levels should incorporate almonds, yogurt and leafy greens into their diets. These foods are bursting with other beneficial components like fatty acids, protein and beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene can be beneficial to your diet, but smokers should avoid taking supplementation in the hopes of increasing their cancer-fighting potential; beta-carotene in excess has actually been linked to an increase in lung cancer.

For a general overview, avoid living your life in excess.  Practice moderation, and you can enjoy just about any food.  Avoid eating a diet that is high in salt, fat and processed sugars, and instead stick to a plant-based diet with healthy proteins.  Minimize drinking, and eliminate drug use.  With just a few adjustments to your diet, you can make a lot of changes.

Regardless of your food choices, your diet should always be aimed at maintaining a healthy weight.  Obesity has been linked to several cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical and ovarian cancer and many others as well, including multiple myeloma.  Weight loss may not necessarily prevent cancer from occurring, but it can improve your odds of avoidance as well as eliminate the possibility for several other diseases as well.

Even without losing weight, physical exercise has been shown to be beneficial for reducing the likelihood of many types of cancers.  Aim for three to five days of moderate to strenuous activity a week.  While it is not widely understood at this time why exactly physical exercise may play such a role, it is believed to have several factors ranging from metabolic changes to hormonal ones.  Regardless of how exercise works to help in the prevention of cancer, exercise has many other benefits as well that make it an attractive option to anyone.

For those seeking to stave off the possibility of cancer, most doctors will recommend a regimen of proper nutrition and a healthy amount of exercise.  While nearly all cancers show a link between diet and exercise and the contraction of cancer, there are numerous other things you can do as well.  If you smoke, aim to stop smoking to reduce the likelihood of lung cancer.  Stopping smoking will also allow you to increase your physical activity level.  When it comes to your health, the right regimen is a package deal.  With the right combination of proper nutrition, exercise, the avoidance of intoxicants and a solid sleep schedule, you can keep your body healthy for years to come.


Joining the MCA in 2011, David Haas is the Director of Awareness Programs. In addition to researching much of the information available to the site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs available and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. David is a fitness enthusiast who frequently runs, climbs, and bikes for enjoyment. He is also very involved in outreach associated with awareness about the dangers of asbestos for many different organizations and groups of people.

Read more: