So, we've talked a little about nutrition and exercise. How about lifestyle to decrease your cancer risk?
Let's touch on four areas: smoking, alcohol, de-chlorinated water and stress management.
- Smoking: I'll keep this simple. Not smoking? Don't start. Smoking? Stop. Find a way.
- Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol increases estrogen levels in 10 minutes. That's not good for breast cancer risk. And according to Janet Friedmann, PhD, RD at Vanderbilt Medical Center, "there is a substantial amount of data linking alcohol to increased cancer risk for the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, liver, colon and breast."
- Water: Increasing water intake decreases risk of colon cancer, likely because it increases bowel transit time. However, chlorinated water has been linked to an increase in various cancer risk. A simple solution? Use an at-the-faucet chlorine remover and then drink up!
- Stress Management: "How to" is a topic for several blog posts, but for now remember that unmanaged stress increases cancer risk. In a University of London study "unmanaged mental stress was six times more predictive of cancer and heart disease than cigarette smoking, high cholesterol levels, and elevated blood pressure" (The Seven Pillars of Health, Don Colbert, MD).
So, don't let all of this information about decreasing cancer risk stress you out! Keep it basic.
- Eat a variety of several (ideally 7-8) vegetable servings a day.
- Be physically active (exercise) most days of the week, including a 2-3 days of vigorous exercise, if your medical situation allows. Call your doctor and ask what intensity is good for you.
- Don't smoke. Don't drink alcohol. Drink chlorine-free water.
- Find avenues to manage stress - exercise is one of them.
- Get help where you need it - whether your physician, a Registered Dietician or a Health Coach.
Keep at it! You can Find Your Path so you can Fulfill Your Potential. And you can enjoy the journey! Let us know how we can help.