Ever wonder why Asian cultures live longer, cancer-free lives? It’s no fluke. Studies consistently proves the Asian populations have a lower incidence of chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer, compared to their Western counterparts.
Their longevity is not based on their geography. Rather, centuries of lifestyle practices have been linked to their good health. The good news, we can easily adopt their practices and incorporate easy tools and tips into our daily lives.
Asian Cultures and Minor Cancer Risks
A National Cancer Institute study found that North Americans have a 65 percent higher rate of cancer mortality than Asian-Pacific Islanders between 1998 and 2002. To boot, the World Health Organization has determined that dietary factors account for at least 30 percent of all cancers in Western countries.
The UCSF Cancer Resource Center holds that diet and lifestyle are key factors in prevention, debunking the common myth that genetics are the primary cause. The Cancer Resource Center’s study compared the relationship between westernization of culture across the globe and increased cancer rates. The findings show that dietary patterns in Asian populations are connected to lower incidences of cancer.
Asian culture’s dietary habits have remained consistent for generations, with overall food patterns and active lifestyles as the biggest cancer-preventers. In other words, a big picture approach is important and incorporating single foods, like soy or green tea, will not make a huge impact on their own.
To reduce your risk of cancer, incorporate all 5 of these long-held Asian dietary secrets.
Increase Your Consumption of Whole-Food Organic Soy Products
Whole-food soybean products contain phytoestrogens, called isoflavones that contain a wide variety health benefits. Soybean’s natural estrogenic and antioxidant properties have been linked to bone health, reduced cholesterol levels, and preventing heart disease as well as certain cancers.
Whole food soybean products include edamame, tempeh, tofu and natto. To be safe, avoid soy isolate products, these are often used as fillers in Western foods, like energy bars.
Increase Your Consumption of Cold-Water Fish
(Watch how this famous chef prepares halibut!)
Asian cultures have made cold-water fish, like salmon, halibut and mackerel a staple in their diets. With high omega-3 fatty acids, increasing your consumption of fish can reduce some cancers and inhibit cancer cell growth.
If you’re looking for other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil are all great options as well.
Cut Back on Factory Farmed Meat and Dairy
Unfortunately, the majority of meat and dairy products sold in grocery stores have been altered with harmful chemicals and hormones. Not to mention, dairy products have been proven to be difficult to digest, and cause inflammation, leading to a slew of more serious health problems.
Switch up your regular purchases with some dairy-free options such as coconut milk or nut milks, and keep a lookout for organic, farm-raised meat that is absolutely free of antibiotics. As a rule of thumb, the closer the meat was raised to your home, the better!
Eat a Wide Variety of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Numerous studies reveal a strong link between eating fruits and vegetables and protection against cancer. For example, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research proves that non-starchy (and therefore, colorful) vegetables, like leafy greens and citrus fruits protect against several cancers, including stomach and lunch cancers.
Amp up your vegetable and fruit intake, aiming to eat eight to ten servings on a daily basis.
Drink One to Three Cups of Green Tea Every Day
While it’s difficult to study the effects of green tea, due to its wide variability, the bioactive agent found in all green teas, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is a proven antioxidant. With that, the daily consumption of green tea has been linked to cancer prevention, like prostate cancer.