In what’s being called a looming “human disaster,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that cancer cases worldwide will surge by 57 percent in the next 20 years.
WHO, in its World Cancer Report, claims that the rate of cancers will soar from 14 million cases in 2012 to 22 million cases within the next two decades. Deaths from the disease will increase from 8.2 million deaths to 13 million deaths annually.
Many experts are saying the answer to reducing these staggering numbers is about prevention – not treatment. Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, says viaFox 8 News, “We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem. More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”
The WHO report notes that about half of all cancer cases are preventable, citing everything from smoking to alcohol consumption to screening to diet and exercise as areas we as humans can start to focus on even more.
Here at One Green Planet, we believe diet plays a key role in keeping us healthy on all levels. So, if you’re in the market to make some changes that could play a big role in prevention of many types of disease, here are five simple diet changes you can make:
- Load up on the vegetables. The more colorful they are, the better! You also get extra points for green vegetables. Try to get above and beyond the recommended daily allowance of 2 -3 cups per day. Aim for 5 and above!
- Step away from processed foods. Put simply, if it comes in a box or has its own television commercial, limit how much you eat it. Plain and simple.
- Switch out desserts for fruits. Fruits can be a delicious sweet snack, especially if you garnish them right. Load up on fun add-ons, like fresh berries, dark chocolate chips, and nuts like almonds and walnuts. Instead of that nightly bowl of ice cream, have a fresh fruit party for a healthier choice that will also increase your intake of great-for-you fruits.
- Speaking of nuts, try to get in a handful of these antioxidant gold-mines every day. Cashews and almonds will keep you full and are a great snack choice any time of the day.
- Change out your whites for whole grains. There are so many alternatives to white bread and pasta on the market theses days, there’s hardly an excuse to still be eating this sugary, processed stuff. Opt for whole grains whenever possible, and your health will thank you.
- Ok, a bonus tip, and perhaps the most important: cut down on your consumption of meat and dairy. This one change can do more for your long-term health than most any other diet tip we can share here. Try a Meatless Monday or one meatless meal a day, and see what you can do to make switches in your dairy product use. Doing this could quite possibly save your life (and it saves animals and the planet, too).
It’s easy to make changes in your diet, especially when you take them one at a time, keep them simple, and consider just how much you can do to potentially prevent scary diseases like cancer. Stick with us at One Green Planet for more great-for-you recipes and health tips on the daily!