So the other day I received yet another beautiful and encouraging email from my cousin. Her words were elegantly wrapped up in a dose of motivational and inspiring lines sent all the way from her holiday in Sri Lanka. She urged more from my writing, more information on what to do and more importantly what not to do. I realised I have focused so much on cancer treatment that I often ignore those who want to do everything in their power to prevent it. We always hear prevention is key and damn right that’s true. Although I can write numerous books on the topic or speak endlessly for days, which my immediate family and friends have been subject too, today I won’t do that but give you my top 3 pieces of information that can most definitely contribute towards preventing cancer or any chronic illnesses.
Inflammation is a vital and integral link to many chronic ailments and not just cancer. Inflammation in the body causes disruption while suppressing the immune and we all know what happens to a weak immune, it’s a recipe for disaster! There are many foods and lifestyle habits that contribute to inflammation in the body. The most common being processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, dairy, coffee, hydrogenated oils, meat, no exercise, no movement and high levels of stress. You don’t necessarily have to avoid all of these but it is important to also balance your body with alkalising foods, such as green leafy vegetables, garlic, lemon (yes also we believe lemons to be acidic, it is actually very alkalising to the body when digested), turmeric (I swear by this), movement, meditation and many more. Rachna Chhachhi, is a renowned nutritionist who advocates an anti-inflammatory diet. Her book Restore is a great read into anti-inflammatory foods.
Another reason to get yourself moving. Fat causes many internal issues within the body such as hormonal imbalances where fat tissues produce excessive estrogen and are associated with the risk of breast, endometrial and other cancers. Obese people often have increased levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors 1 (IGF-1) in their blood, which may promote the development of certain tumors. Excessive weight again contributes to an inflammatory environment.
- Healthy mind
Yes you’ve heard it before and no its not quackery. This is backed by scientific evidence and is being widely accepted as complimentary therapies in various cancer institutes of the world. Meditation, guided imagery, music therapy, hypnosis and many more are being encouraged as integrative therapies to enhance quality of life and prevent many illnesses. From Deepak Chopra to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, all advocate a healthy and positive state of mind. Meditation IS for everyone and it does not mean just sitting in silence while trying to maintain an aching upright position, desperately silencing your thoughts and concentrating on the breath. Guided visualisations have become a norm in my life now. I start and end my day with it. Not only has it helped in making me more in-tuned with the present moment and myself, but I create my day with my thoughts and live it as I expect it to be every second after. Thoughts create your reality and a healthy mind most definitely creates a healthy body. Like I said there are many more ways in which one could work towards keeping a healthy body and mind and hopefully I will try and cover all of them as I continue writing. No one is asking to gain a PhD in the field of health and prevention but be aware of what’s around you and what your ingesting into your body. Its all about balance because, you are what you eat and you are most definitely what you think!