Today is World Cancer Day.
The stats show that cancer affects 1 in 5 of us, and I’m sure we all know someone who’s been touched by this disease.
With so many genetic tests available for sale, reporting on genetic risk to a specific disease condition, not to mention cancer, it’s no wonder that people start to panic.
Naturally the next step, is to start searching on Google for symptoms!
Thankfully, having a genetic risk factor isn’t the be all end all. What’s important are the environmental factors such as lifestyle and diet that influence the gene switching on and this is in your control.
So what’s the best anti-cancer diet? Well perhaps it'll come as no surprise, but it's a diet full of the rainbow. And I don’t mean candy toppings of hundreds and thousands or fruit burst sweeties, but a diet full of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. That cant can’t be hard, right?
This sounds very simplistic, and to some extent it is, but what can be tricky is replacing sugar fix habits and knowing where to start.
- Eliminate or reduce sugar and sweeteners from your diet, except fruit sugars from whole fruits (don’t be fooled by juices made from a concentrate, this is a no no)
- Eliminate or reduce dairy (this has something called IGF1 that can mimic cancer in the body)
- Think about your meals that you eat. Most people eat the same food 80% of the time. So what food swops or additions can you make?
- Look to get 8-10, yes that’s right, 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day, with 7-8 being vegetable and 2-3 being fruit.
- Look at the Mediterranean diet. This has more fish than typical western diets, and a lot less refined sugar, with fruit being the main source of sugar as a dessert. We want the lean proteins from this type of diet, such as fish, at least twice a week, with tons of greens, in whatever guise you like. Spinach, broccoli, chard, cabbage, kale, spring greens, collard- anything green
- Reduced saturated fat in your diet, and look for leaner cuts of meat. Some may choose to try a more vegan style of eating, which given how popular this has become, may not be too tricky, both in cooking for ourselves, and eating out.
- Look to dress your food with extra virgin olive oil, or flax seed oil or even hemp oil. These oils have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
How can we help?
When we see clients for consultations, one of the easiest ways to assist with these goals, is to go through each of their meals and look to make swops or additions. This makes the process of change much easier, and more achievable.
Let’s look at something simple like porridge at breakfast and the wonderful oat. Oats are naturally gluten free. If gluten is an issue, please ensure you purchase certified gluten free oats to prevent cross contamination in production.
Changing instant oats for something like steel cut oats. Oats are rich in something called soluble fire, which is great for your gut.
Mix your oats with a plant based milk or water.
If the weather is warm and you don’t fancy warm porridge, change it for something similar called overnight oats.
Basically oats soaked in a plant based milk or water overnight. Soaking the oats can make them more digestible and avoids having to cook them, so saving time.
You could add something like chia seeds too, that will increase the protein and omega content and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Chia seeds are a complete protein, which means they have all the essential amino acids needed in your diet, as well as having an anti-inflammatory effect.
Add some berries- any berries, frozen or fresh (these are packed with anti-oxidants)
Add some seeds or maybe a few chopped nuts. The seeds can help with inflammation and the nuts make you feel fuller for longer.
I hope this simple exercise of looking at something like humble porridge, has inspired you to book in for a consultation with us, whatever your health goals and challenges, and we can help you make some swops and additions, and by explaining why, you may stick with the change.
Supplements are also an area we can assist in, and whilst it is always better to change diet and get nutrients in our diets, we are happy to advise on supplements too.