Embracing Wellness: Lifestyle changes for Cancer Prevention for Indians - Hindustan Times

Embracing Wellness: Lifestyle Changes for Cancer Prevention in the Indian Context

Feb 20, 2024 05:37 PM IST

From including more movement in your life to eating nourishing food, here are some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of cancer

While genetics play a role in cancer risk, research suggests that up to half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. This empowers us to take control of our health and embrace practices that enhance our well-being while potentially reducing cancer risk. Dr Vikas Goswami, Director - Medical Oncologist, Max Vaishali, Patparganj and Director – Zeeva Healthcare, shares key lifestyle changes relevant to the Indian population:

Rainbow fruits and vegetables have a lot of health benefits(Unsplash)
Rainbow fruits and vegetables have a lot of health benefits(Unsplash)

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Rainbow fruits and vegetables have a lot of health benefits(Unsplash)
Rainbow fruits and vegetables have a lot of health benefits(Unsplash)

Nourish yourself with a balanced diet:

Embrace the rainbow: Fill your plate with vibrant fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and fiber. Choose seasonal options like guavas, oranges, spinach, and cauliflower.

Whole grains over-refined: Swap white rice for brown rice, rotis, and millets like jowar and bajra for sustained energy and increased fibre intake.

Pulses are powerhouses: Include dals like moong, masoor, and urad for plant-based protein and fiber.

Limit red and processed meats: Opt for lean protein sources like fish, chicken, and plant-based alternatives like tofu and paneer.

Spices for health: Turmeric, ginger, and garlic possess anti-inflammatory properties. Incorporate them generously in your cooking.

Reduce sugary drinks and processed foods: Opt for water, homemade buttermilk (chaas), and herbal teas instead. Limit sugary snacks and processed foods laden with unhealthy fats and preservatives.

Move your body, energize your spirit:

Embrace physical activity: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Explore brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or traditional dance forms like Bhangra or Garba.

Yoga for holistic well-being: Practices like Surya Namaskar, Tadasana (Mountain Pose), and Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Pranayama breathing exercises promote relaxation and stress management.

Meditation for inner peace: Techniques like mindfulness meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, potentially lowering inflammation linked to cancer risk.

Other valuable practices:

Maintain a healthy weight: Excess body fat is linked to increased cancer risk. Consult a doctor or nutritionist for personalized guidance on achieving a healthy weight.

Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol intake increases cancer risk. Consider moderation or abstinence.

Sun safety: Avoid peak sun hours (10 am to 4 pm) and practice sun protection with clothing, hats, and sunscreen.

Vaccinations: Get recommended vaccinations, like Hepatitis B, to protect against certain cancers.

Regular checkups and screenings: Early detection is crucial. Follow your doctor's advice on screening tests appropriate for your age and risk factors.

Remember: Consistency is key. While incorporating these changes, be mindful of cultural nuances and individual preferences. Consult a doctor or registered dietitian for personalized advice. Embracing these lifestyle changes not only empowers you to lower your cancer risk but also fosters overall well-being and a vibrant life. Let's make healthy choices the norm, together!

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