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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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