I often hear people say that there’s nothing they can do about getting cancer because it’s all genetic anyway. While some cancers are solely based on genetics, most aren’t! (Click here to read how your personal choices interact with your genetics)
Cancer and Genetics
Only 5-10% of all cancers are associated with having a family history of cancer. That’s it! The rest of cancers are related to things our body is exposed to during our lifetime. That’s why most people develop cancer when they are older as their bodies have had more time to accumulate damage.
In the last post I talked about smoking and the damage that it has on the body. Today I want to remind you about ways that you can reverse or slow down damage.
Factors That Affect Immunity
The more you are exposed to unhealthy factors that may potentially spark the cancer process (like cigarettes, alcohol, sun damage and certain viruses) the more your cells are likely to sustain damage that could eventually lead to cancer.
You can protect yourself from this damage and boost your immune system by eating a healthy diet, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily and maintaining a healthy weight.
Foods to Improve Immunity
Many substances in plant foods can boost your body’s immune system, repair and prevent damage to your cells. Phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber all have potential anti-cancer effects. Most of these substances work together to protect your health when you digest them from whole foods.
These compounds also act together to provide the best protection against cancer. Each type of vegetable or fruit contains different beneficial compounds. Eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits is likely to be your best defense against cancer.
It’s best to have at 3-4 cups of vegetables and fruits of different colors every day, including red, green, yellow, purple, white and orange. Here is a recipe that I made this week. It incorporates chickpeas (contains the phytochemicals isoflavones and protease inhibitors), curry, onions (contains flavanoids and quercetins) as well as brown rice. You get a variety of colors as well as dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Enjoy!!
Recipe: Chickpea and Vegetable Curry on Brown Rice
- Olive or canola oil
- 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 chopped pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ¾ cup water
- 2T curry
- 1t salt
- 6oz. bag of baby spinach
- Roasted peanuts
- Start brown rice before cooking the curry
- Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat
- When hot, add chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes
- Add peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, water, curry and salt and simmer for 20 minutes
- Put bag of spinach in with curry and cook for 10 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve over brown rice, top with roasted peanuts and enjoy!