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الأربعاء، 23 فبراير 2011

Start today with an apple a day! Minimizing your risk of cancer

Today 1 in 2 people develop cancer as compared to 1 in 10 in 1930. You can minimize your risk of cancer through taking personal accountability by preventing and changing unhealthy personal habits, and making more educated consumer choices.  Potential risk factors include your environment, smoking, unhealthy eating, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, over-exposure to the sun, and genetics.  The following are some suggestions and a summary of guidelines to help educate you in making choices to help reduce your risk of cancer.
Exposure to harmful chemicals in food products can be limited by supporting organic farmers or growing your own garden using organic methods.  Try visiting the Dallas Farmer’s Market or the White Rock Lake Local Markets to find organic foods.   You could be exposed to methylmercury by consuming contaminated fish and marine products.  Thermal power stations are the most polluting source of mercury emissions.  You may be exposed to microbial contaminates by consuming contaminated drinking water or by recreational (swimming) water through the skin. Instead of drinking commercially bottled waters, drink reverse osmosis water.
Presently, of all cancers studied, the strongest connection can be made between diets high in fat and colon cancer.  Apples support a healthy colon because they contain soluble fiber called pectin. A medium-sized apple contains approximately 12 mg of vitamin C, but the antioxidant impact is the same as 1500 mg of vitamin C.  Apples also contain potassium, which helps to regulate water balance, helps neuromuscular function, and helps regulate blood pressure. Phytochemicals that are found in fruits and vegetables can reduce the formation of carcinogens, slow tumor growth, and protect your DNA.  Citrus fruits contain terpenes, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid, which aid in elimination and blocking of the effects of carcinogens.  Furthermore, the ferulic acid binds with nitrates and reduces the formation of cancer causing nitrosamines.  Indoles are one of the main cancer fighting chemicals found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.  An antioxidant spice called turmeric helps dissolve bad fats, has antibacterial properties, and also protects the blood vessels. Turmeric contains an ingredient called curcumin that researchers say may help suppress and destroy the blood cancer multiple myeloma. A study done in Japan found that curcumin prevented cancer and stopped tumors from growing.  Avoid sugar (glucose) because tumor cells thrive on sugar. You can try using gymnema sylvestre, an Ayurvedic herb that helps to curb cravings for sugar.  Ayurvedic principles suggest falling asleep by 9-10 p.m. each night. Warm milk contains tryptophan and is the precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep and reduces the effects of stress. During sleep, vital hormones are produced that are important for the immune system, such as interleukin-2, which increases the production of cytokines and acts as a free radical fighter. Try drinking a glass of lemon and honey water each morning to help purify the system. Many carcinogens are fat soluble, therefore, losing weight can reduce or stop some cancers. Aerobic exercise burns fat.  Try moderately exercising every morning to nearly 50% of your capacity.
Although over-exposure to sun may contribute to skin cancer, 15-20 minutes of sunlight exposure a day is helpful for your body to make the vital vitamin D (which is actually a hormone), and can support your immune system and help prevent osteoporosis.
Cigarette smoking causes 90% of lung cancers.  Hypnosis and meditations are a couple techniques that have been shown to aid in quitting smoking.  A reduction in the consumption of alcohol can a reduce women’s risk for breast cancer. A research study found that women who consume two or more drinks per day have 40-100% higher blood levels of estrogen than women who don’t drink.
Be cautious of your work environment. Workers who make brake shoes may have exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral, and may have an increased risk for lung cancer. Another risk is exposure to benzene, a solvent for petrochemicals, and is believed to cause leukemia. Copper smelting workers are exposed to arsenic, which increases their risk for lung and skin cancers. Marie Curie is one of the scientists who discovered radium and she died from exposure to radiation. Avoid unnecessary use of X-rays, including dental X-rays. Exposure to radiation fallout can increase the risk of thyroid cancer in children, not only at the time of exposure but also later in life.
Finally, your attitude can also play a role in your rate of healing.  As reported in the New York Times, a study using first-term law students presented a correlation between optimism and high immune systems.
The same techniques suggested for cancer prevention apply to prevention of heart disease as well as other illnesses. Hopefully you can see that with a plan of action changes can be made in personal choices of food, lifestyle, environment, and chemical use that have an immediate and direct impact on your health to decrease your cancer risk. Furthermore, you can help influence future generations by getting involved with community action and voicing suggestions and concerns as a consumer and tax payer; becoming actively involved with the political agendas of local government programs and initiatives; and seeking alternative approaches from experts in the field of cancer and alternative medicine, which could include, among other alternative techniques: meditation or prayer, and healing herbs and essential oils.

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