By Dr. Kevin J. Kelleher
With our medical community’s current focus on new medications and high-tech diagnostic and treatment equipment to prevent disease, we sometimes lose sight of simple yet proven measures that keep us healthy. It may well be that a business owner or busy executive can take a step to improve their health by merely changing their shopping list or foods they keep in their desk drawer to snack on. Sometimes, it is as important what you ‘add’ to your diet as what you take out of it. With that in mind, we want to provide you with some good resources on living well and preventing cancer through simple exercise and healthy eating.
The American Institute of Cancer Research recommends these things for you to do to reduce your risk of cancer, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and several other health conditions:
* Eat a diet rich in plant based foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and dry beans.
* Increase your level of physical activity.
* Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
* Select foods low in fat and salt.
* Maintain a healthy weight or lose excess pounds.
* If you smoke, stop. If you do not smoke, don’t start.
Top Ten Foods to Fight Cancer
AICR has also identified these foods as particularly helpful. They are listed in alphabetical order with an example of each food’s protective benefit:
BEANS – One study of over 3,000 men found 33% less prostate cancer in those eating the most beans.
BERRIES – High in fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked with lower cancer rates.
DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES – The Iowa Women’s Health Study found a 44% lower risk of ovarian cancer.
FLAXSEEDS – Short term studies found flaxseed alters how estrogen is processed in the body and is thought to create a protective effect against breast cancer. (Must be ground to get the benefits.)
GARLIC – High consumption is associated with decreased risk for stomach, endometrial, colon and prostate cancers.
GREEN TEA – In Asia, those who consumed green tea over the course of several years showed reduced risk for bladder, colon, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers.
GRAPES – One group of studies showed resveratrol blocked the progression of leukemia, skin, and breast cancer in all stages of the disease.
SOY – Many studies suggest soy consumption when young may prevent breast cancer later in life.
TOMATOES – A six year study of men showed those who consumed the most tomato products had a 35% lower risk of early prostate cancer and a 53% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer.
WHOLE GRAINS – 40 recent studies combined showed consuming large amounts of whole grains reduced cancer risk an average of 34%.
The National Institute of Health has excellent resources as well. The following links cover suggested diets, exercise routines, disease prevention resources, and many other pertinent topics. We suggest you find some time to review them.
Regular doctor visits, prevention and screening, and monitoring of important risk factor numbers, in addition to these healthy choices, can go along way for an executive to remain healthy and enjoy the rewards of today’s hard work.
Kevin J. Kelleher, MD
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