Many people think that excess body fat just makes clothing tighter, but did you know it is also a primary cause of cancer? This is because an overabundance of fat cells causes over-production of many inflammatory signaling molecules.
Getting back into those “skinny jeans” will not only make you look and feel better, but it will also help you avoid some serious health consequences. After not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do to prevent cancer. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimates that up to one-third of the most common cancers could be prevented if Americans ate a healthy diet, got at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, and maintained a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity have been highly correlated with an increased risk of colorectal, esophageal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and post-menopausal breast cancers, among others. Excess body fat has been estimated to be the cause of roughly 117,000 cases of cancer each year in the United States, and yet about two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains that help you lose weight can also help prevent cancer. Plant foods provide a variety of cancer fighting vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and bioactive compounds. Bioactive compounds in particular may help protect cells from damage caused by aging, smoking, excess fat accumulation, and/or pollution. Dark colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries and red radishes contain high amounts of bioactives known as anthocyanins, which have been extensively studied for their anticancer effects in the gastrointestinal tract. Check out the “Foods that Fight Cancer” website, which is complete with a full glossary of foods that have been shown through clinical research help prevent and disrupt cancer.
Trying to lose weight? Check out my “Top Ten Ways to Lose Weight and Be Healthy.”