Today let’s talk about some healthy strategies for heart health and cancer prevention, i.e. the “kill two birds with one stone” approach.
Okay, first thing first. Take simple, small lifestyle actions day by day, which is what will help you win the battle of fighting cancer and heart disease. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day, and probably not in a week either.
To reduce risks of cancer, you need to incorporate lifestyle changes, as WHO’s message on the World Cancer Day 2010. These changes can also benefit your heart.
Here are 9 simple, healthy strategies:
1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. I know that ice cream is appetizing, but fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as foods low in saturated fat but high in fiber can serve as cancer-fighting and cholesterol-fighting agents.
2. Exercise regularly. Best suggestions are about 30 minutes a day. Find various ways to stay physically active, which will help you lower cholesterol, maintain healthy weight, and prevent cancer.
3. Maintain a healthy weight with a body mass index (BMI) lower than 30. Overweight and/or obesity increases your risks for heart disease and cancer. Need help? You can get a FREE diet profile here.
4. Stop cigarette smoking and avoid second-hand smoking. Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an estimated 1 out of every 5 deaths each year, according to National Cancer Institute (NCI). Noticeably, research reveals a link between elevated CRP and obesity as well as smoking.
5. Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption is linked to increased risk of various types of cancer including breast, colorectal, mouth, esophagus, larynx, and liver cancer. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure and heart failure.
6. Reduce inflammation and cancer-causing infection. Stay away from factors that make us susceptible to infection and inflammation, such as toxic chemicals, pollutants, stress, inadequate intake of nutrients, a diet high in sugar, fat and animal proteins. Strengthen your immune system.
7. Avoid or minimize your exposure to air pollutants. Air pollutants mediate inflammation, thereby contributing to cancer and a troubled heart. It’s difficult to control the air in our outdoor environment, but we can control the air in our homes. Pay attention to occupational hazards, take preventative measures in workplace too.
8. Relax! Reduce stress. Stress can weaken the immune system, trigger inflammation, subsequently leading to heart attack, stroke and cancer. Have a positive outlook and find your own “secret” stress reliever.
9. Know your numbers. Regular health checkup can help you monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Consult your physician on cancer screenings.
Finally, a Bonus for Valentine’s Day and chocolate lovers.
Substantial research suggests that flavonoid-rich food could help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer based on its anti-inflammatory effect. Cocoa is the richest source of flavonoids, but current processing reduces its content considerably. Dark chocolate is flavonoid-rich (with at least 70% cocoa). So, what’s the catch? In comparison, milk chocolate is sugar- and fat-rich. To learn a few quick tips on how to consume chocolate wisely, check out our “Tip of the Week“.
What’s your thought on fighting cancer and heart disease? If you like this post, please share it.
Photo credit: by lrargerich