The holiday season can be both fun and joyous. But it can also be stressful and tiring at times. Experts warn that this combination of stress, fatigue, and high fat foods can, over time, increase your risk of cancer. That’s why the Asian Fund for Cancer Research has developed easy-to-follow tips that can help ensure a happier, healthier holiday season, and which, over time, may reduce your risk of cancer.
Eat more vegetables and fruit, and less red meat. Choose colorful fruits and veggies: they are filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants, while red meat is linked to increased risk of getting cancer. Limit your red meat consumption to 18 oz. or less each week to keep your cancer risks low.
Moderate alcohol consumption. While alcoholic drinks can be a big part of a holiday celebration, they are packed with sugar and calories. Remember that regular consumption of alcohol throughout your life can increase your cancer risk. Men should not consume more than two drinks per day. To reduce the risk of breast cancer, women should not consume more than three drinks per week.
Get your greens and use healthy cooking oils. Eat lots of spinach, broccoli, green beans and dark, leafy greens. Use healthy oils such as flax, walnut or canola. Try drizzling vegetables with extra virgin olive oil. Delicious!
Eat wild salmon, tuna or mackerel. They are full of Omega-3 oils, which are great for cellular health and may help prevent cancer.
Go a little nuts! Nuts such as walnuts and almonds are great sources of protein and healthy fat, so they make a great filler between meals. Don’t overdo it:healthy fat is still fat.
Avoid white starch. These are empty calories with very little nutritional value andour digestive system struggles to handle them. Instead choose food made with whole wheat or multigrain flour.
Fiber is good! Whole grains, beans, barley, lentils, dried figs, dried cranberries, and dried apricots are great sources of fiber to integrate into your holiday meals.
Be aware of your sugar intake and high-fat dessert choices. Have your dessert, but keep it balanced. Try a piece of good quality dark chocolate or a poached pear. If you “splurge,” keep it small, and add some extra time to your regular exercise routine.
Drink 16 ounces of water before eating. Dehydration can be confused with hunger. Keeping hydrated by drinking at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily is essential to helping your body function properly.
Eat a healthy snack at home before attending a party. This will help control your hunger so you don’t arrive at the party ravenous.
Laugh. Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy life and laugh. It is truly the best medicine.
Move. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and prevent cancer. Walk, jog, ride your bike, play racquetball, practice yoga—anything to get your body moving! Exercising five times a week for at least 30 minutes per workout will have significant positive impacts on your life. Start a family holiday tradition by taking walks or bike rides and continue it throughout the year each time there is a get-together.
Slow Down. Eat slowly and enjoy time with family and friends. Turn off the TV, phone and electronics! Eating slowly gives your body time to realize it is full. Thoroughly chewing your food helps maintain a steady rate of metabolism.
Rest. Get at least 7 hours of sleep and stay on your natural schedule as much as possible. Late-night eating and drinking will result in a rough night’s sleep.