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Replacing Red Meat With Oily Fish Can Protect Your From Colon Cancer

Replacing Red Meat With Oily Fish Can Protect Your From Colon Cancer

Colon cancer occurs when out of control cell growth occurs in the colon – the lower section of the large intestine. According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, this particular cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that  approximately 140,000 people will be diagnosed and more than 50,000 will die from this disease, this year alone.

The good news is – if caught early – it is one of the most highly treatable forms of cancer. Even better news is that in most cases it is preventable.

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Consume Less Red Meat

There have been conflicting reports linking red meat and colon cancer. The results from numerous studies are in and the definitive answer to this question is yes – high consumption of red meat is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. A meta-analysis of 29 studies of meat consumption and colon cancer concluded that consuming large amounts of red meat increases the risk of developing colon and or bowel cancer by 28%, and eating lots of processed meat increases the risk by as much as 20%.  Australia Nutritionist Teresa Mitchell-Paterson says it all comes down the amount of red meat we are eating.

“It’s about how much red meat you’re consuming,” Mitchell-Paterson told The Huffington Post Australia. “If you’re consuming 500 grams of red meat or 500 grams of red meat combined with processed meat (bacon, salami, sausages, etc.) per week, that’s the amount we try to stay below.”

The primary reason red meat consumption is linked to colon cancer is due to the way it sits in the bowel wall. Experts have found that red and processed meats travel through the bowel slowly. The chemicals in the meat sit against the bowel wall and irritate it. This can cause an increase in inflammation, a quicker turnover of cells and the potential for cancer to develop in that area.

Red meat includes beef, pork, lamb and goat – so foods like hamburgers, minced beef, pork chops and roast lamb are included. Processed meat includes any meat that has undergone any type of chemical processing. This includes meat that has been smoked, cured, and salted such as hot dogs, sausages, salami, bologna, bratwurst, bacon, salt pork, cold cuts and lunch meat, ham, pastrami, pepperoni, smoked fish, corned beef, and jerky. It turns out that when processed, cancer-causing (carcinogenic) chemicals are created in meat and these chemicals, when eaten, increase the risk of colon cancer.

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Below are a few simple tips that can drastically lower your risk for developing this type of cancer:

  • Limit red meat consumption to 500 grams or less per serving and eat no more than two to three servings per week. A good way to measure is by using the palm of your hand as a guide. The serving of meat should be no larger than your palm and 3-4 cms in thickness.
  • Watch how the meat is cooked. Avoid eating meat that has been burnt or charred. Burnt meat releases polycyclic aromatic, hydrocarbons, heterocyclic aromatic amines and N-nitroso compounds, which are dangerous compounds and can wreak havoc on your colon.
  • Combining resistant starch with meat consumption  may lower the cancer risk. Eating foods such as beans, legumes, cold potato, banana, whole grains and seeds along with the meat reduces the contact time against the bowel wall and lowers the overall risk.

Consume More Oily Fish

A great way to help prevent or at least lower your risk of developing colon cancer is by eating more oily fish – or better yet, replacing red meat with oily fish. A recent study revealed a pretty profound result in people who had already developed colon cancer. When the patients in the study consumed small amounts of fish containing omega 3 fatty acids, they cut their chances of dying from cancer by 70 percent. Researchers believe that omega-3 can suppress tumor growth and block blood supply to cancer cells.

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Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include “oily fish” such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and bluefish. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week, particularly those that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. There are many reasons researchers believe omega-3s assist in fighting cancer. For example, they may reduce the production of enzymes that promote cancer cell growth, speed up the rate at which cancer cell death occurs and suppress the formation of new blood vessels required for cancer cells to grow. The most simple explanation is that the oil from the fish helps to provide a coating on the colon walls and allow foods to pass through the colon more quickly as opposed to just sitting in the walls causing inflammation.

Becoming aware of how to prevent colon cancer is the first step in prevention. Making these very simple changes in your diet can drastically improve your health. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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Denise Hill

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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