One of the achievements of modern medicine is the discovery of the preventive role of proper nutrition in the development of the most serious diseases, such as tumors.
Even today the idea we have of the doctor is that of the “ savior ” who dispenses medicines for all kinds of problems. Fortunately, it is an image that slowly fades.
Against the most serious diseases, the most powerful medicine is prevention and this is implemented with a correct lifestyle, which rests on the foundations of a healthy diet .
According to the World Health Organization , nearly half of cancers today can be prevented by working on risk factors, thus adopting scientifically proven strategies that reduce their incidence.
Smoking is known to be responsible for lung and oral cancers and cardiovascular complications, yet many people smoke, despite the ever-increasing price of cigarettes.
A cigarette-free lifestyle, which should be the norm, keeps your lungs healthy, unless you live in a highly polluted area or in contact with poisonous materials.
In short, going looking for it isn’t exactly the best. If the consequences of smoking are fairly well known (even the most inveterate smoker is aware of the self-harming gesture he makes), the same cannot be said of bad eating habits .
This depends on cultural factors (food is the source of energy that allows us to live and is part of the culture of a community) and on environmental and economic conditions , so it is almost impossible to discern between unclear and fragmentary information.
When you shop, you don’t feel like you’re buying something that could hurt you. After all it is food, something we feel we need from birth.
But the opposite is also true: when we buy certain food (fresh, healthier, less rich in salt, simple sugars and fats) we do not always realize that we are putting weapons in the pantries for live better.
This double key of interpretation should always be present, but you need the right information and, probably, less impulsiveness in purchases.
Here are some recommendations of sorts:
- As mentioned, impulsiveness is an enemy of rational decisions: read food labels. The words ” zero fat ” mean nothing, except that the food is low in fat; however, it does not mean “few calories”. And it is possible that excess sugar or salt may be present to counterbalance the lack of flavor.
- You prefer a diet based on small portions, balance macronutrients in the best possible way, eliminate industrial food in favor of fresh food, informing yourself better on the nutritional properties of legumes, vegetables, seeds (dried fruit) and fatty acids polyunsaturates such as omega-3s (providing you with the best information on the difference between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids).
- Vary your recipe: Don’t indulge in snacks once a week, but once a month.
- Don’t trust too much in the fact that you exercise : a wrong diet is wrong even if you break your back in the gym or run 50 km a week. Not all calories ingested are the same.
- Keep an eye on your weight. Obesity is a concomitant cause of tumors of the uterus, stomach, breast, colon, bladder.
- Increase your fiber consumption. Consume less fat (or rather: consume the right ones in moderation, such as EVO oil). A diet low in fiber and high in sugar is very bad.
- Check that the intake of vitamins is sufficient. There may be deficiencies in key vitamins, such as vitamin D, whose low levels have been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic, colon, and breast cancers.
- Here is a complete list of foods you should never eat. And to keep going, always keep to the less what “healthy eating” means.
Foods that perform a protective or preventive function against some of the most well-known forms of cancer:
- The lycopene contained in tomatoes and to a lesser extent in melon decreases the incidence of prostate cancer;
- A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is good for stomach and lung cancers;
- In particular, diets based on carotenoids (contained especially in carrots) decrease the incidence of tumors of the oral cavity and lungs. Pumpkins and Brussels sprouts are also recommended.
- Vitamin C protects against the onset of tumors in the esophagus. (read: foods rich in vitamin C). It should be eaten naturally with citrus fruits and dark leafy vegetables, as well as peas and peppers.
- Same effects for the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, and legumes such as beans. Spinach is also rich in antioxidants.
- At least five portions of fruit and vegetables are recommended per day. Consuming fruit and vegetables allows you to eat better, feel fuller, extinguish the appetite for foods that are too sweet, too salty, too fatty (usually junk food).
- Watch out for smoothies and juices. Fruit and vegetables concentrated in juices may contain too many sugars, better eat them in pieces and with the peel (well washed). Avoid supermarket juices, ready-made sauces and various mash. Sugars are also present in the form of syrup in various preparations.
- Instead of the traditional snacks , it is better to eat a piece of fruit or a slice of wholemeal bread (not the one in a box, but the real bread).
- Minimize the consumption of industrial, packaged, processed food. Food that lasts too long is a food rich in preservatives, thickeners and additives necessary to preserve its flavor and pseudo-freshness after a long time. Always choose fresh food . They also cost less.
- Although our culinary tradition considers them an excellence (from an agri-food point of view they are), we must be careful with the consumption of cured meats. Don’t overdo it even with dairy products. Reduce your consumption of processed meats, especially red meats.
- Cooking in the oven or steamed prevents the formation of carcinogenic substances and is healthier than fried foods and roasts.
- Whole grains instead of refined ones. Always consider that legumes and pasta can alternate, the same goes for potatoes rich in starch. Here are the good and bad carbohydrates.
- Alcohol must be limited because in fact it is a toxic drink for the liver which is the organ responsible for detoxifying the body and regulating metabolism. A healthy liver is a prerequisite for good health. The classic glass could only be good if you don’t have other problems. A compromised liver can lead to both steatosis (enlargement) and the formation of tumors. The consumption of alcohol facilitates the formation of tumors of the oral cavity and esophagus.
- Limit the use of salt which increases the incidence of tumors in the stomach and esophagus. In this case, the same goes for sugar: salt is found in many industrial products. Plus what you add for your recipes. Moderation is the watchword . Use herbs and spices, lemon and extra virgin olive oil to flavor meals.
By following these basic principles you will already be embracing the concept of healthy eating, which is a prerequisite for a preventive lifestyle against the most serious diseases.
And so you are taking concrete action for a healthy, long, more than satisfying life. It is also likely that you are managing to influence those around you in your family or friends by giving a effective contribution to the health of all.
Strengthening your health is a principle that can be respected with the policy of small steps.
You don’t need to make dozens of changes, all at once, you can start eliminating snacks early on, leveraging your brain’s ability to adapt to food choices – this time for the better – by creating new habits.
Then one day you will eliminate sugar from drinks, another day you will be able to consume less white bread in favor of wholemeal bread. And so on.
Combine these choices with constant daily physical activity to maintain weight and improve oxygenation of the organs and heart resistance.
To live better and healthier, I invite you to take my course Boost your health , dedicated to these aspects.