Simple steps to help ward off cancer

DOWNEY - I could talk about receptor sites of cells and their accepting xenoestrogens provoking cancer onset, but what's the point? The how-to's get to the point a lot faster.First and foremost, a cancer precursor gene has been identified, and it's important to prevent it from activation. One identifier is intake of burnt food. You may think, "Well, that's not me," but how many don't mind the over-done toast, the barbecues with hot dogs and hamburgers blackened on the grill, smores with blackened marshmallows? All are best to be avoided. Another avoidance is food or drink heated in the microwave in a Styrofoam, plastic or plastic-lined container. Much research has been done about the leaching of chemicals from the plastic to the food, and health problems of those who do it regularly. It's time to get out your Pyrex, glass and ceramic containers and put them to use. Limit intake of red meat to no more than three times a week, especially with a family history of colon cancer. Yes, another reason to eat chicken, fish or to try the vegetarian lasagna. Positive things you can do to prevent cancer is eating certain foods. This is only a partial list of some of the most-researched foods. Eat nuts - almost any type, I prefer walnuts - a small handful a few times a week in your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. Berries, again almost any type, throw a handful into your dishes. Personally, I keep a large bag of frozen blueberries and defrost small amounts to add to my yogurts and cereals. Onions and garlic intake have shown a 56% to 88% drop in some cancers. With a family history of breast, cervical and/or ovarian cancer, the easiest thing is to make sure females breastfeed their infants for one complete year. Giving birth and not breastfeeding has a 38% correlation of increased cancer risk. Some more food for thought: yes, the less free radicals in your body, the lower your cancer risk. And antioxidants are a good thing to have. This is not by any means a complete list, but just some guidelines to jog your thinking. Next time in a restaurant, choose the French onion soup versus chicken noodle, and yes, why not add onions to your burgers or have food in a garlic sauce. Beg your companion's pardon, and carry breath mints. Rita L. Shertick, RN, BSN, is a staff nurse at Downey Regional Medical Center's Family Birth Center. She is a Lamaze certified childbirth educator and a certified lactation educator.

********** Published: February 24, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 45