According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases will be diagnosed before the end of 2019. Of that number, approximately 606,880 Americans, nearly 1,662 each day, will die. After heart disease, cancer is still the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and is attributed to every 1 in 4 deaths.
On a larger scale, the World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 6 deaths worldwide is due to cancer and that one-third of those deaths are from behavioral and dietary risks. By 2030, the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase by 40% for high-income countries, and twice that rate at 80% in low-income countries.
Most people are aware of the consequences of smoking, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, and poor diet. In fact, the World Cancer Research Fund predicts that at least 20% of the estimated new cases of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. will result from obesity, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition. It should also be noted that only 5% of cancers are predominantly hereditary. This leaves an open window for other causes for the development of rogue cells with impaired metabolisms, such as environmental factors like exposure to radiation, pesticides, and other hazardous materials. Put together casual factors like immune disorders and other metabolic conditions with external factors such as excessive exposure to chemicals, and it may take 10 years or more for cancer to appear. However, as the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization point out, the majority of cancers are preventable.
What’s more, a feast of friends ready to fight off cancer foes are in your fridge and pantry right now. Here are some of the food groups that can help prevent cancer:
- Vegetables: At least two-thirds of your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, rapini, and turnips, are particularly good at warding off cancer. Rich in fiber, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamin C, vegetables in this group have been shown to promote antioxidant activity by enhancing cell metabolism and regulating cell growth. Compounds in these foods are broken in the body into agents that inhibit enzyme activity associated with inflammation. Sulforaphane, an important component in cruciferous vegetables, possesses anticancer properties.
- Fruits: Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and other fruits contain high levels of bioflavonoids called anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of blue, purple, and red-skinned fruits. These fruits are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and other antioxidants, and have been shown to help protect against cancer.
- Whole grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley, are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and have been shown to help prevent colon cancer.
- Legumes: Legumes, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, are rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, and have been shown to help protect against colorectal cancer.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, are rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants, and have been shown to help protect against cancer.
- Herbs and spices: Herbs and spices, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon, are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory
Another promising cancer prevention strategy is red light therapy. Pairing the right food with the right health technology can go a long way.
How Infrared Red Light Therapy Prevents Cancer
Infrared red light therapy, also known as low-level light therapy, is a non-invasive, painless treatment that utilizes a specific wavelength of red light to promote healing and rejuvenation at the cellular level. While the primary use of infrared red light therapy is to reduce pain and inflammation and accelerate wound healing, recent studies have shown that it may also play a role in preventing cancer.
One of the ways that infrared red light therapy may help prevent cancer is by boosting the immune system. The immune system is responsible for detecting and destroying abnormal cells, including cancer cells. However, when the immune system is weakened, it may not be able to effectively eliminate these cells, leading to the development of cancer.
Several studies have shown that infrared red light therapy can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are essential components of the immune system. These white blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are responsible for identifying and destroying foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. By boosting the production of white blood cells, infrared red light therapy may help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer.
Another way that infrared red light therapy may help prevent cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and DNA, and antioxidants, which are molecules that neutralize free radicals. When there is an excess of free radicals, oxidative stress can occur, leading to cell damage and an increased risk of cancer.
Infrared red light therapy has been shown to increase the production of antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Additionally, infrared red light therapy has been shown to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a molecule that provides energy to cells. This increase in ATP production can help improve cell function and reduce oxidative stress, further reducing the risk of cancer.
Finally, infrared red light therapy may help prevent cancer by reducing inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, as well as other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Infrared red light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation by suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. By reducing inflammation, infrared red light therapy may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the role of infrared red light therapy in cancer prevention, the available evidence suggests that it may be a promising tool for reducing the risk of cancer. By boosting the immune system, reducing oxidative stress, and reducing inflammation, infrared red light therapy may help promote overall health and reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
I personally got a Mito Red light device for at home use which you can learn about by clicking here. I have noticed that my energy levels increase, my sleep quality has increased and I feel a great sense of overall wellness by using it to start my day with a big glass of water in the morning. Use the discount code: healthywildree for 5% off your purchase!
Learn more about the health benefits of Red Light Therapy here:
I also got the portable red light from Mito because I really enjoy the effects and wanted to have it with me on the road if I need it! See here:
Use the discount code: healthywildfree for 5% off your purchase!