by The Hearty Soul
In 2015 about 1,658,370 new cancer cases were diagnosed. An estimated 589,430 Americans were expected to die of cancer, or about 1,620 people per day. That means about roughly 35% of cancer patients die after their diagnoses. A number that is much too high for anyone’s liking.
Men are slightly more at risk for developing cancer overall, between 4-5% more likely and their death rate is 12-13% higher than a woman’s. Women are at risk for fewer cancers overall, but when they do develop cancer – they really tend to take the lead. Cancers women are more at risk for are colon, anal, rectal, gallbladder, breast, reproductive and thyroid cancers.
The states with the highest cancer risk? California, Texas, Florida and New York. Mostly stemming from breast (kills 1 in 5), lung (kills 7 in 10), colon (kills 2 in 5) and prostate cancer (kills 1 in 10).
The percentage of survival rate for all cancers diagnosed in 2004-2010 was 68%, up from 49% in 1975-1977. And that is mostly due to early identification.
That Was Scary
I know. That was the point, actually. Cancer is responsible for so many deaths in America (and worldwide) every year that it’s important that you know some of the statistics. Many of you may have been touched by cancer, either in the suffering of a loved one or the loss of a friend. That may be why you’re here: you’re looking for answers.
So What Are the Answers?
Well, truth be told, there is no cure-all for all cancers. Some people carry the genetic inclination to develop cancer and others don’t. Though not all cancer is caused by bad luck in the genetic lottery. There are changes you can make and habits you can develop. Some of these are as simple as diet changes, some of them are more complicated, involving weight loss, change in exercise and earlier screenings (all of which can take time from your schedule).
Diet changes really are the easiest adjustments to make. Adding in 10 extra minutes of prep can save you a fortune in medical bills. For those of you back out saying, “but I can’t cook” I have good news. These additions are raw and fruits and veggies. So it’s actually just a little peeling or cutting work, I promise.
But before I get there, why is it so important to make these lifestyle changes?
Enzymes. Enzymes are these little guys in your body who are only on your side. They digest your food and boost your metabolism, helping you make the most of every little last nutrient you consume. You need enzymes to make the most of antioxidants and other vital minerals in your diet so they can do what they do best – keep you healthy and cancer free.
Where do you get them?
Enzymes come from fresh, raw foods. When you cook, process, or refine foods, the heat tends to kill the enzymes that your body badly needs. This is why staying away from a processed food diet is so crucial: almost all processed foods have gone through some sort of process that lowers the enzyme levels of your food.
So what are the best sources?
Like I said, raw foods and the fresher the better. Some of you will be lucky enough to be able to grow these in your climate and get the “fresh-off-the-tree” benefits. Some of you will have to settle for store bought produce. But here’s my list of the best enzyme rich foods.
- Aloe Vera: This spiky plant can be stripped of it tough outer-layer and the translucent gel makes a nifty textured addition to any drink (I really like it in this lemonade recipe)
- Avocado: Not just the meat anymore. Science has recently revealed the health benefits of the avocado pit (check ’em out here). Or if that’s not your thing, you can try this excellent raw, summer soup recipe
- Barley Grass: Try juicing it or tossing it in a salad.
- Chlorella: A teeny micro-organism that packs a huge wallop! Add this to smoothies for health benefits or sneak them into healthy salad dressings.
- Coconut: Not just the oil (although, man, it helps!). Include the meat and the milk for added health benefits!
- Cucumber: You can try any of these 20 recipes here
- Figs: Super high fibre! Keeps you regular!
- Flaxseeds: High fiber and full of omega-3s!
- Garlic: Do I need to say more?
- Ginger: Check out any of these articles:
- Papaya: A wonderful morning treat in a fruit salad.
- Pineapple: Remember to keep the core of the pineapple for smoothies!
- Spirulina: Like Chlorella, this little miro-organism is all about keeping you healthy.
- Sprouts: Any and all, they make great edible garnish for soups, salads and whatever else!