Can eating organic food reduce risk of developing cancer? Tips for preventing Cancer.
It is believed that eating organic food keeps us healthy. People are willing to pay more for organic foods because they believe it is better for their health. But can eating organic actually help lower the risk of developing cancer? However, until now, evidence of the benefits of eating organic foods has been lacking.
A new study followed 70,000 adults, most of them women, for five years concluded that the frequent organic food consumers had 25 percent fewer cancer than those who never ate them. The incidence of lymphomas and post-menopausal breast cancers was less among people who ate mostly organic foods. In addition, the researchers found those who ate organic foods also had fewer prostate cancers, skin cancers, and colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends consuming a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of refined grains and a limited amount of red meat, processed meat, and added sugars. For foods to certified organic by the Department of Agriculture, food should be grown without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and may not contain genetically modified organisms. Animals must be raised feeding organic foods without the use of hormones or antibiotics.
Researchers noted the study does not prove an organic diet causes a reduction in cancers but strongly suggests that an organic-based diet could contribute to lowering the risk of developing cancer. They noted people who ate organic tend to be health conscious and carry out healthy behaviors, which are the traits that have been associated with reduced cancer risk. More studies need to be done to look at the role of organic food in cancer prevention. However, it is important for people to focus on risk factors that are within their control.
Steps to help lower your risk of cancer risk
Cancer is often unpredictable. However, there are things people can do to reduce their cancer risk. Some of the cancers can be prevented by avoiding the risk factors. The chances of developing some of the cancers are affected by their lifestyles which includes dietary intake, physical activity, and alcohol consumption. Here are some tips to reduce your cancer risk.
Maintain a healthy weight
Studies have revealed that obesity is linked to increased risk of different cancers such as endometrial cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer gallbladder cancer, and ovarian cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight might reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Be physically active
Physical activity lowers your risk of cancer including breast, endometrium, prostate, lung and colon cancer and other chronic diseases, such as heart diseases and diabetes. Physical activity includes walking, swimming, cycling and running.
Eat a healthy diet
Studies show that consumption of different fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish or poultry is linked with the lower risk of certain cancers while eating more processed and red meat is associated with a higher risk of certain cancers. The American Cancer society recommends:
- Eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day
- Eating less red meat ( buff, pork, and lamb) and less processed meat ( sausage, hot dogs and dry meats)
- Choosing bread, pasta made from whole grains instead of refined grains and brown rice instead of white
- Eating fewer sweets
Limit alcohol consumption
Research has shown that alcohol consumption can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as breast, throat, esophagus, liver, colon and rectal cancer. Men should have no more than 2 drinks a day and women no more than 1. It is alcohol itself that causes damage to the body, not the type of alcohol you drink. However, this does not mean everyone who drinks alcohol will have cancer. People who drink alcohol are more likely to develop cancer than people who do not.
Tobacco use is a major cause of cancer and death from cancer. Tobacco use can cause lung, larynx, mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver and rectal cancer. People who use tobacco products or who are regularly around environmental smoke have increased the risk of cancer because tobacco products and second-hand smoke have many chemicals which damage DNA.
Some of the cancers can be prevented by protection from certain viruses, such as hepatitis B virus and human papillomavirus ( HPV). Hepatitis vaccine is recommended for high-risk population, such as sexually active adults with multiple sex partners, intravenous drug users, homosexual men, health care professional or those who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.
HPV can cause cervical cancer, head and neck cancers, and other genital cancers. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys ages 11 and 12.
Protect yourself from the sun
Skin cancer is one of the most common and the most preventable kinds of cancer. Avoid midday sun and stay in the shade when you are outdoors. Cover exposed areas, wear sunglasses whenever going outside in the sun. Apply sunscreen and reapply every two hours even when swimming.
Get a regular cancer screening test
Screening means checking your body for cancer before having any symptoms. Regular screening can help diagnose cancer at an early stage. Mammograms are the best way to diagnose breast cancer early when it is easier to treat. Pap smear test can find cervical cancer when the chance of being cured is very high.