5 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

5 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

You've probably heard it all before: quit smoking. Control your stress. Eat a healthy diet. Cancer prevention can sound distinctly un-fun, and require a hefty time and emotional commitment. But not all cancer-prevention tips require a massive effort. Indeed, some of the best—and least-known—methods to prevent cancer are also among the easiest. Try these incredibly easy strategies to slash your cancer risk.

1. Filter your water

Think you're doing your body a favor by drinking bottled water? Think again. No studies have shown that bottled water is safer than tap water, and some have pointed to higher risks associated with consuming the bottled stuff. Instead, try putting a filter on your home tap water or using a filtration device. You'll eliminate carcinogens, get better-tasting water, and avoid the potential perils of bottled water.

2. Load up on caffeine

You might think caffeine is bad for you because it increases your heart rate and makes it tough to sleep. But research is increasingly pointing to caffeine as something of a miracle drug. Heavy consumption of caffeine—five or more cups of coffee per day—exponentially increases your body's cancer-fighting power. Research also suggests that caffeine can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. And here's a bonus: coffee might also help you lose weight—a key step in the battle against cancer.

2. Wear protective clothing

The sun's radiation-packed rays don't just cause skin cancer. They can also play a role in other forms of cancer, including of the breast, liver, and even lungs. To minimize your cancer risk, you need to think about your fashion choices. Keep as much of your body covered when you leave the home as possible, and remember that the sun's rays will come through your car windows. Going to be outside? Research suggests that blue and red fabrics are much better at blocking the sun's harmful rays than white and yellow hues.

4. Learn to love whole grains

Going grain-free may be trendy, but it's a bad strategy for reducing your cancer risk. Whole grains are rich in cancer-fighting fiber and contain some cancer-fighting compounds you won't find in any other food. Look for foods marked as 100% whole grain, and steer clear of white bread, flour, and rice.

5. Eat plenty of antioxidants

You might already know that antioxidants slow down the aging process on your face, but antioxidants also help to fight free radicals deeper in your body. Free radicals are associated with health problems, including inflammation and cancer. If you want to load up on delicious, antioxidant-rich foods, try blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries. Fresh—and even wild-picked—fruits, or organic if you purchase them at the store, are always the best bet for getting the most cancer-fighting benefits. 

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