Movember is an annual awareness campaign that is near and dear to my heart. I dedicate my time in November to sharing my knowledge on men’s health, and more specifically, reducing cancer risk reduction. While some genetic risks are beyond our control, there are many lifestyle risks you can control.
I wanted to share my top 5 tips for lifestyle changes to lower the risk for cancers that affect the men in your life!
- Get active! In men diagnosed with colon cancer, those who did 30 minutes of low/moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week showed significant improvements in quality of life during treatment and longevity.
- Fabulous fiber: Higher fiber diets have been linked to a lower risk for prostate cancer in men. Some of my favourite fiber sources are green vegetables like kale and kidney beans – I throw both into my chili recipe! If you struggle to get enough greens, consider sneaking them into a tasty breakfast smoothie with hemp hearts and chia seeds.
- Plant-based Perks: green veggies bring the antioxidants to help keep healthy cells, well, healthy! Another wonderful food to add is tomatoes, which provide a great source of lycopene. Lycopene has claims to reducing growth and spread of prostate cancer cells. In a meta-analysis of observational studies, lycopene and tomato products showed a modest reduction in prostate cancer while deficiency in lycopene/tomato-free diets demonstrated increased oxidative damage, which can increase likelihood of cancer. Interestingly, cooked tomatoes showed a stronger benefit!
- Let them eat meat (but not all meat)! Diets supported by lean, organic protein (think chicken and fish) help with muscle recovery following exercise. These meats also increase energy throughout the day and will help regulate cholesterol levels. Have red meat as an occasional treat – and keep processed meats even lower, as they have been linked to gastric cancer.
- Make time for stress management. Having well-regulated cortisol has been shown to improve immune function and reduce risk for cancer (this goes for women as well!). Guided mindfulness can be a fantastic place to start for beginners to meditation. As we head towards the holiday season, there are wonderful health related technologies that can encourage stress management habits, like the Muse headband and heart rate variability monitors. These provide data that help users track their performance and growth – in other words, they can help you answer the question, “Am I doing it right?”
A quick reminder that the purpose of Movember is awareness – so please consider sharing these easy tips with your friends, colleagues and family!
Want to learn more about cancer?
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