While there is no single exact cause for cancer, we know that there are ways we can minimize the risk of cancer occurrence. There are things you can do in your everyday life that can have a powerful impact on your overall health, which can have a significant influence on cancer prevention. Here are tips for a healthy lifestyle and daily routines for reducing your risk for cancer:
Use the healthiest cooking methods
The way you prepare and cook food has a bigger impact on your health than you may realize. You may be eating meals with the healthiest ingredients, such as lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, if you’re subjecting those foods to unhealthy cooking methods, you may be losing beneficial nutrients or, worse, introducing carcinogens into your meal. Steaming, stir-frying, sautéing, and even microwaving are some of the healthiest ways to cook food because these methods don’t subject the food to high heat. Baking is also a healthy option because it generally doesn’t require oil. Be mindful when you boil food because essential nutrients can be lost in the water.
The unhealthiest forms of cooking are grilling, barbecuing, frying, and deep-frying. These methods use high temperatures that can destroy many nutrients and change the food’s chemical structure. This produces potentially cancer-causing products such as trans-fatty acids, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic hydrocarbons. Adding unhealthy marinades and oils also increases the food’s fat and calorie content.
Engage in physical activity
Obesity and being overweight has long been associated with an increased risk for cancer. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day will help you maintain a healthy weight. Engaging in physical activity not only helps you burn calories, but also improves heart and lung health, builds muscle strength, and boosts endurance.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet is the best way for you to get cancer-fighting antioxidants. Antioxidants track down free radicals in your body to neutralize their harmful effects, making your body less susceptible to developing cancer. Some fruits and vegetables touted for being high in antioxidants include wild blueberries, cranberries, artichokes, blackberries, raspberries, russet potatoes, asparagus, kale, and dark leafy greens.
Stop using tobacco
There’s a common misconception that smoking only increases your risk for lung cancer. However, smoking is linked to different types of cancer, including cancer of the colon, stomach, bladder, larynx, kidney, and esophagus. Chewing tobacco has been linked to a higher risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pancreatic cancer.
Practice sun protection
Skin cancer is one of the most common yet preventable forms of cancer. When outdoors, protect exposed skin by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and stay in the shade. Avoid the sun when its rays are at their strongest whenever possible, which is midday. You should also be protecting yourself from the harmful rays of the sun even when you are indoors. The sun’s UV rays can easily enter your home through a window that has its curtains open, and the light will reflect against the floors and the walls.
To learn more about cancer screening, prevention, and treatment, contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology. At Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology, more than a thousand men and women diagnosed with cancer each year turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists. We encourage you to call us, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion so you, too, can experience the difference.