Pumpkins and early evening sunsets illuminating the skies with bursts of turquoise and pink. It can only be autumn holidays in England;
4th February marks the annual World Cancer Day, which aims to increase awareness about cancer. With the theme ‘We Can. I Can.’, in 2016 it encourages us to engage in specific actions to fight the disease.
Despite promising advances in cancer treatment, mortality due to the disease remains very high. Killing around 8.2 million people in 2012, with over 14 million newly diagnosed cases, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide.*
Most of us know someone who has suffered from or still struggles with cancer, and news of cancer-related deaths is frequently covered in the media. Only a couple of weeks ago, David Bowie died of liver cancer followed by Alan Rickman just a few days later, who died of pancreatic cancer. Both died at the age of 69.
Key Objective of World Cancer Day: To get as many people as possible around the globe to talk about cancer on 4 February.
A number of risk factors are known to contribute to cancer, and while we can’t change some of these, like aging or family history, we can try to control an array of the other lifestyle-related risk factors: tobacco, alcohol, diet, obesity, sunlight overexposure, to name just a few.
Can diet and exercise be the key to avoiding preventable cancers?
The Mediterranean diet
A review published recently in BMC Medicine identified a list of foods that might reduce risk and progression of prostate cancer. What’s interesting is that it overlapped to a great extent with principles of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to be beneficial in avoiding progression of prostate cancer.
A recent meta-analysis took into account the relevant studies of cancer patient cohorts and the levels of physical activity before cancer diagnosis. It confirmed that the more physical activity we do, the higher the chances of overcoming the disease and the lower the risk of dying of cancer. So get yourself exercising, whether it’s using the stairs more or taking a longer Sunday stroll – it all helps.
As we already know, eating healthy foods and being physically active aids in maintaining a healthy weight. The good news is that overall this also helps to prevent cancer, as obesity has been listed as another cancer risk factor.
A number of studies evaluated if in general healthy lifestyle patterns help reduce cancer risk. For example, a large cohort study provided evidence that following a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, being non-smoker and reducing alcohol consumption decreases the risk of developing stomach cancer.
In the light of the advances in cancer research, we encourage you to slow down for a while and spend some time during World Cancer Day to reflect on what actions are within your reach to contribute to fighting cancer. ‘We Can. I Can.’
Here at Giving Tree HQ, our passion is encouraging healthy eating and providing delicious snacks that are natural, contribute to one of your ‘5 a day’ and we pride ourself on not adding ANY additives, preservatives or unnatural ingredients.
One key way of tackling life threatening illness such as Cancer is prevention, and what goes into your body is so vital in relation to being healthy on the inside as well as the outside too.
We can’t say that eating a diet rich in ‘superfoods’ will totally eliminate your chances of getting Cancer, but when such strong research worldwide supports diet as a huge contributor to wellbeing, there is no harm in supporting the prevention measures you can take.
World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research People states that people with less healthy diets are more likely to develop cancer. Many studies have been conducted looking at the association between diet and cancer, and experts agree the food we eat can affect our risk of cancer. Scientists have estimated that less healthy diets cause nearly one in ten (9%) cancer cases in the UK.
Research suggests that people who eat the most fruit and vegetables can lower their risk of cancer by around 10% compared to those who eat the least. Eating one portion of fruit and/or veg each day can cut the risk of mouth cancer by half – and eating more portions cuts the risk by even more.. start eating those veggies! (Linseisen, J., et al, Boeing, H., et al)
A recent study (Boeing, H) suggested around one in 20 cancers in the UK may be linked to people eating fewer than five portions a day of fruit and vegetables.
We can’t cure cancer and there’s no miracle superfood either..but eating more fruit and veg can only help! Especially when they’re super tasty too.
In case you haven’t noticed it yet; our Giving Tree fruit crisps are really special as they are freeze dried. Sounds pretty fancy,