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Health Bulletins
February, 2011

Healthy Habits Start with Lifestyle Changes

 

There are key steps that you can take that will make an immediate impact on your well-being. Healthy habits break down into two categories: what we put in our bodies and what we do with our bodies.

 

What we put in our bodies:

• Make time for breakfast. People who eat breakfast show a decrease in their risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

 

• Add fish and omega threes to your diet. Eating fish 2-3 times a week shows signs of decreasing heart disease and helps to improve immunity.

 

• Snack on healthier food. Fruit and vegetables are an easy and tasty way to get more fiber and vitamins into your diet.

 

• Drink water and tea. Water keeps our insides functioning smoothly and certain teas; especially black and green, teas have antioxidants and medicinal properties.

 

What we do with our bodies:

• Exercise for better health. It helps control weight, lowers risks of disease and premature death, helps to manage stress and is great for strong bones, joints and muscles.

 

• Get enough sleep. The body needs time to recover and heal, and sleep is good for mental and emotional health.

 

• Make social connections. Having a group of friends and loved ones you can count on improves your sense of belonging and gives you a suppor group.

 

• Brush and floss. Yes, good dental health is a healthy habit that doesn’t get enough press. Flossing helps to keep gum disease at bay and keeps plaque from entering the bloodstream.

Do you have a plan? Start building your healthy habit plan right now.

Lifestyle Habits Connected to Cancer

By: Tatyana Kour MS, RD, CNSC, CTTS

Consultant, Clinical Nutrition, Dietetics & Metabolism

 

The Relationship between Cancer and Nutrition

 

The study of healthy eating habits can be seen in two ways: prevention of cancer, and response to treatment. There is a wealth of research available on the impact of a healthy diet and nutrition on our health; as the combined balance of healthy foods, physical activity, and sleep to reduce the risk of cancer plays an important role in increasing people’s ability to bear the burdens of medical treatment. Recent studies have shown that a healthy diet treatment, particularly with colon and breast cancers, may contribute in reducing the mortality rate by 25-40%.

 

The Relationship between Cancer and Body Weight

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a relationship between cancer and body weight; it found that body weight higher than normal increases the risk of cancer, with the greatest impact found amongst women. Achieving a healthy weight depends on a daily pattern of healthy eating habits, physical activity, sleep and psychological comfort.

 

The Relationship between Cancer and Sugar Intake

Availability of refined sugars (white sugar, soda) provides dietary calories, but there is no direct relationship when it comes to cancer. It’s easy to increase the intake of refined sugars because they do not give us a feeling of fullness;

therefore playing an indirect role by increasing our weight, which increases the risk of certain types of cancer. According to scientific evidence, high insulin levels resulting from the consumption of refined sugars may increase the risk of cancer.

Why is Reading Important?

 

Reading is like providing the mind with nourishment and knowledge which are food for the mind and soul. Apart from giving us the basic information about the world around us, it also provides us with the essentials for thought,

 

encourages us to think, and increases our hunger for knowledge and our

thirst to learn more. During ancient times, reading was limited to books. But today, it encompasses reading on the web. Reading from the internet is an easy option and does not undermine the pleasure one can get from reading books

.

If we are introduced to the concept of reading at a very early age, it remains with us in different forms throughout our life. It is very important to inculcate the habit of reading right from childhood through bedtime stories for example.

 

Reading during the early years helps a child improve their language skills and recognize written words. Studies say that reading before going to bed helps a child feel secure and comfortable while sleeping, so it is important to read good books during these years were youngsters dream about their future and plan for it.

 

Reading is an activity that keeps us occupied; resulting in fruitful usage of time. It also helps us get rid of our anxieties, diverts our mind from monotony and boredom. It is one of the best ways of relaxation.

 

Research has shown that avid readers stand out from the rest because of improved cognitive abilities. They can think creatively, improve their grasping power, and become better analyzers and problem solvers. Reading helps a person be successful in life.

 

Are you convinced about the importance of reading? It is time to grab a book and start reading.

Test Your IQ

 

Which of the following images completes the continuous sequence (from 1 to 6) pattern shown here?

World Cancer Day

 

February 4 marks World Cancer Day, a day that brings global awareness to the disease and encourages its prevention, detection, and treatment. It is led by the International Union Against Cancer, a global consortium of more than 350 cancer-fighting organizations in over 100 countries. World Cancer Day targets the public through global communications, and encourages policy makers and UICC member organizations to make cancer a political priority.

 

This year’s theme is “teach children and teenagers to avoid UV exposure by being “sun smart”” which focuses on kids to avoid the common causes of cancer. Healthy habits learned early in life have a significant impact in later years. The World Cancer Campaign calls on all those with a say in how children live their lives – parents, teachers, health workers and decisionmakers – to help children make healthy choices that can mean a cancer-free future.

 

Each year, UICC helps its members and partners run public awareness campaigns in their countries, measure their effectiveness, and promote regional education and mobilization projects.

 

While some cases of cancer cannot be prevented, many of them can with simple lifestyle changes. Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are two excellent ways to considerably cut your cancer risk. Don’t forget that a healthy diet and regular exercise play an important role in your overall health, and this includes cancer prevention.

 

What are you doing to prevent cancer? Join the world this month in spreading the word on cancer prevention.

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