These lifestyle choices may make cancer less likely.
You’ve seen the hype-filled headlines: “The Cancer Prevention Diet!” “Slash Your Risk of Cancer in Half in Just Minutes a Day!” Is it true that you can cut your cancer risk with simple choices you make every day?
Well, there’s nothing magic about cancer prevention, no “killer app” that can instantly keep you healthy. Genetics play a big role in cancer, so even if you try to live a perfectly healthy life, it’s possible that you may develop cancer.
But experts estimate that at least a third of all adult cancer cases are linked to lifestyle, which is within your control.
With every healthy choice you make -- and every unhealthy habit you drop -- you’re chipping away at your cancer risk. Here are eight of the healthiest habits you can develop to help prevent cancer (plus a ninth one that experts are still cautious about).
4. Plant Your Plate.
There are a number of different foods that may help to prevent certain types of cancer. “For example, tomatoes, watermelon, and other foods containing lycopene have evidence showing that they probably reduce the risk of prostate cancer,” Bender says.
But if you’re aiming to slice your risk of many cancers across the board, load your plate with plants, particularly non-starchy vegetables and fruits. That’s why the AICR report’s No. 4 recommendation is to eat mostly foods that come from plants -- at least 14 ounces every day. The Mediterranean diet, St. Tropez diet, and the green diet all are based on a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Diets that tend to prevent cancer are rich in plant-based foods.
AICR’s “new American plate” plan offers an easy cheat sheet on eating to prevent cancer. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains should cover two-thirds of your plate; the other one-third should contain lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy.