Cancer is a much feared and dreaded word and it’s high prevalence in India is no consolation. According to the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), an astonishing 1300 Indians die every day due to cancer, screaming an audacious 6% increase in cancer deaths between 2012 and 2014.
An 80% responsibility of these preventable figures rests with us humans, the ones at greatest risk.
The world over, research suggests a stark relationship between cancer and tobacco consumption, obesity and lack of physical activity. And these are well known facts. As India has emerged in the past 20 years as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, trends have sadly changed with lifestyles becoming more sedentary, active consumption of processed foods marking up, high paying sedentary jobs becoming more attractive and physical activity being bound to less than 3 hours of intentional exercise.
This is the horizon that needs to change if cancer has to trend down and pose lesser of a risk to community. Managing weight effectively through simple practices that allow you to choose fresh whole foods, a variety of fruits and vegetables containing phytochemicals that build the armour of anti-oxidants, eliminating hormone induced milk products from the grocery list and consciously allowing sleep to take over guaranteeing a 7 hour rest every night are habits that can be built without too much effort. Today is what is here, leave nothing for tomorrow except hope.
Besides these basic rules, a few changes and inclusions towards your health can go a long way in redeeming risks to the most painful cancers.
The lymphatic system of the body is closely linked to your immunity and preventing inflammation by elimination of harmful bacteria and toxins. Making sure that the lymphatic drainage functions effectively through regular exercise especially yoga, dry brushing, fair consumption of raw foods, lemon, clean water & enzyme rich cold pressed vegetable juices will naturally detox your body, prevent fat accumulation and reduce the risk of cancer.
Antioxidants are powerful free radical quenching wonders that can greatly reduce risk of cancers. The body can be served it’s fair share of antioxidants through a mix of powerful phytochemicals like curcumin, querctin, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid etc available as potent supplements that will guarantee a daily dose.
Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet which containing phytochemicals is a clever way to pack in fewer calories that sport great antioxidant benefit. To name a few from the ocean are lycopene (tomatoes), carotenoids (carrots), leutin (spinach, kale) and anthocyanins (blue and purple fruits and veggies).
Spices like cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, oregano have high free oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC – in simple terms they quench the harmful radicals protecting the body in the process), inclusion of these liberally in your recipes is as easy as it is beneficial.
Inflammation is preventable and reversible. Chronic inflammation has been incriminated as one of the leading causes of cancer and today the knowledge of how to prevent inflammation is large and widespread. The best methods on the rack are born from the use of homebound remedies like ginger, garlic, fatty fish, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and copious amounts of good fats, virgin coconut oil emerging a clear winner of the crown!
Prevention of cancer is largely based on common sense and revisiting the rules we learnt as children and have forgotten as adults. Smoke your chimney-not yourself, gay coloured packages betray the dangers that lie within-so stay off them, sugar is meant to be used in moderation-minimize it’s use, keep your gut clean and prevent constipation, provide a great home in your gut for good bacteria, sleep well, move more and stress less. Keep the cancer where it should be, where you do not even know it’s name.
Anupama Menon is a nutritionist and food coach based in Mumbai and Bangalore offering sustainable nutritional plans with 3 cheats per week. To book an appointment call 9902060225 or follow her on Instagram @iamanupamamenon