Cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States. A team at Harvard Medical School conducted a long-term study on the health data of about 140,000 health care professionals. Based on the habits reported by the survey subjects, they were either classified as healthy or unhealthy.
The conclusion they reached was that about 40% of all cancer cases and half of all cancer deaths were caused by habits.
What habits cause cancer?
- Eating too much bacon and red meat – stomach cancer.
- Drinking more than two drinks of alcohol per day – colon, breast, liver, head and neck cancers. also, excessive alcohol consumption causes damage to DNA by increasing the production of harmful chemicals in the body.
- Smoking cigarettes – lung and oropharyngeal cancers.
- Obesity – Eating too much unhealthy food – stomach, esophageal, colon, pancreatic and other cancers.
What habits reduce the incidence of cancer?
- Intermittent Fasting – In a study done by Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute, he found that a 34% – 54% drop in daily calories reduced blood sugar and IGF-1, a growth hormone. Reduced levels of blood sugar are associated with reduced risk of Type II Diabetes. Reduced levels of IGF-1 extend the life of cells in our body. In this study, they also found that eating too much protein can dramatically increase the incidence of cancer by 400%. When you eat, oxygen converts glucose into Adenosine Triphosphate, or, ATP, inside the mitochondria (fuel factory inside every cell). This glucose conversion is almost violent and can cause quite a mess inside each cell. This mess includes free radicals or electrons, that have been ripped away from its atom, during the conversion process. If these free radicals are not removed within the cell by oxygen, they can fly around and damage the cell wall or, even worse, fly straight into the cell’s nucleus, damaging the DNA that resides in there, which can result in cancer. Those who consume fewer calories, have less of a mess to clean up inside their cells. Recent studies have discovered that the trillions of microbiota that reside inside your gut (primarily large intestine) function as a separate component of your immune system. When you fast or restrict calories, this can help to re-balance your microbiota, especially if there is too much bad bacteria living in the gut. This reset, therefore, helps improve your immune system. The stronger your immune system, the better able you are to defend against disease.
- Eating Super Foods: spinach, broccoli, berries, grapes, tomatoes, carrots, walnuts, legumes, fatty fish, apples, garlic, flax seed, citrus fruits, turmeric, olive oil, cinnamon.
- Daily Exercise – Daily exercise, especially aerobic exercise, boosts oxygen, which helps soak up free radicals inside every cell. Exercise also reduces the effects of chronic stress and boosts your immune system’s ability to destroy cancer cells.
- Meditation – Reduces chronic stress. When you are under the influence of chronic stress, a gene called CYP17 is turned on. This gene converts cholesterol to cortisol. One of cortisol’s side effects is the weakening of the immune system, which can lead to various chronic diseases, such as cancer.
- Sleep 7 – 8 Hours a Night – When you sleep, your body’s immune system and janitorial crew go to work. The more you sleep, the more work they do. Optimal sleep is between 7 – 8 hours each day.
- Maintain a Positive Mental Outlook – In 2005, The National Science Foundation did some research on how humans think. They found that humans had about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day and of those thoughts, 80% were negative. Even worse, they found that 95% of the thoughts we have today were exactly the same as the thoughts we had yesterday. Negative thinking leads to stress, which causes a rise in cortisol. Excessive and continued production of cortisol impairs your immune system and opens the door to diseases, such as cancer.
- Drinking Alcohol in Moderation – According to a 2021 Study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, those who drank less than two drinks per day experienced a lower incidence of cancer than those who drank more than two drinks per day.
According to a 2006 Duke University study, 40% of all daily activities are habits. Your habits determine if you will live a long, healthy life or spend your waning years in and out of a hospital bed.