Tag Archives: fight cancer

9 health benefits of drinking coffee

Cup of coffee health benefitsI am not a morning person. My family knows it’s best not to talk to me until I’ve been up for at least an hour, possibly two hours.

Otherwise, you might get your head bitten off. Don’t expect me to make any decisions. And, if you tell me anything important in that first hour that I’m awake, it’s very likely that I won’t remember it at all.

I love my morning cup of coffee. I only have one cup – but it’s a gigantic 16-ounce cup of coffee. I love the smell. I love the warmth. And I love the taste. I have probably started every day with a cup of coffee for over 20 years. I honestly don’t think I could do without it.

You hear all sorts of bad things about coffee. For instance, it will stunt your growth. My dad used to tell me when I was a kid and wanted to drink his coffee that it would “put hair on my knees.” There have even been claims that it can cause heart disease and cancer.

More recent research has shown that coffee has many health benefits when you drink it in moderate amounts. Here are 9 health benefits of drinking coffee:

Live longer
A few recent studies have shown that drinking coffee can actually help you live longer. During one study, men who drank 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day were 10% less likely to have died during the study. Women who drank the same amount were 13% less likely to have died.

Fight cancer
The likelihood of getting some kinds of cancer – including prostate, oral and liver cancer or breast cancer recurrence – may be lessened by drinking coffee. While scientists aren’t sure how coffee helps lessen the chances of these types of cancer, it’s worth it to keep drinking coffee.

Prevent Parkinson’s
Coffee may lower the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease as well as lessen the symptoms of the disease. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risks of developing the disease by as much as 25%.

Protect against diabetes
Consuming 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day may lower your chances of developing type II diabetes by 25%. Each additional cup of coffee lowered the risk even further.

Reduce dementia and Alzheimer’s
Coffee not only gives us a short-term caffeine boost to sharpen our minds, it can also give us a similar affect for the long-term. Coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. In one study, those who drank 1 to 3 cups of coffee a day were 20% less likely to be hospitalized for heart-related concerns.

Take in antioxidants
Coffee is rich in antioxidants. When present in your bloodstream, antioxidants can build up your immune system and help you fight off sickness. Coffee also serves as a source for several vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin, niacin, potassium and manganese.

Protect your skin
Drinking coffee may also help protect you against developing basal cell carcinoma – the most common type of skin cancer. It may be the caffeine found in coffee that helps reduce the risk of this cancer.

Combat depression
Drinking coffee may help fight depression. If you drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day, you are 10% less likely to be depressed than those who didn’t drink coffee. Researchers believe that the antioxidants found in coffee may provide mood-lifting benefits.

So, relax and enjoy a few cups of coffee. But, keep in mind that moderation is still the key. Too much of a good thing can still be harmful.

Do you start your day off with a good cup of coffee? What is your favorite thing about drinking coffee?

13 foods for fighting cancer

foods that fight cancerThis year, two of my friends have battled cancer. One friend is doing well, and the other passed away. I lost all four of my grandparents to cancer. I guess you could say cancer has been on my mind lately. I have been doing some research into how to prevent and fight cancer.

Do you know the best way to reduce your risk of cancer? Eat a healthy diet.

Experts recommend a plant-based diet. That means eating mostly foods that come from plants, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and beans. Lifestyle choices, bad eating habits and obesity may increase our risk of cancer more than our genetics.

To me, that’s important. By living a more balanced life, including eating a more healthy diet, exercising, getting enough sleep and managing stress, I may be able to fight my chances of having cancer. That sounds good to me!

While researching, these are the top 13 foods that I found were recommended the most often:

cabbage cruciferous vegetableCruciferous vegetables
I will be honest. I didn’t know what cruciferous meant. I had to look it up. Cruciferous means belonging to the plant family Cruciferae, which is basically known as the cabbage family. Examples of these types of vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. And they all contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber that are important to your health. They can also help lower your risks of getting cancer.

It’s important to include a variety of all vegetables in your diet. For instance, carrots and sweet potatoes contain a lot of beta carotene, which may help reduce the chances of many types of cancers.

Dark greens
Dark greens, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, beets and red cabbage, provide fiber, folate and other cancer-fighting carotenoids.

Grapes and red wine
Red grapes contain bioflavonoids that work as powerful antioxidants to help prevent cancer. Grapes are also a rich source of resveratrol, which can inhibit cancer cell growth. Red wine has antioxidants known as polyphenols that help neutralize disease-causing free radicals.

Citrus fruits
Eating more fruits is also good for your health. For one thing, if you’re eating fruit it means you may be passing up less healthy choices made up of sugar and refined flours. (Yes, that means cookies, cake, donuts, etc.) Fruits also provide cancer-fighting benefits. For instance, citrus fruits – such as grapefruits, oranges and lemons – contain monoterpenes. It is believed that monoterpenes sweep carcinogens out of the body to help prevent cancer.

Berries prevent cancerBerries
All berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Black raspberries have high concentrations of anthocyanins, which help slow down the growth of premalignant cells. Blueberries have also been shown to have many health benefits.

Once again, all fruits are a great addition to your diet. Eat more apples, pears, peaches, plums, pineapples, pomegranates, strawberries, blackberries, red raspberries, bananas, papayas, or any other fruits you like.

Avocados are rich in glutathione – another antioxidant that attacks free radicals. They also have potassium and beta-carotene.

A handful of walnuts a day can help reduce your risk of cancer. However, all nuts – including peanuts, almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts – make a good snack.

The omega-3 oils in wild salmon can dramatically reduce your cancer risk. Seafood, such as salmon, cod and shrimp, also have a high concentration of vitamin D.

Flax contains lignans, which may act as an antioxidant and help block cancerous changes in your cells. Flax also gives you essential fatty acids and other good fats.

Soy products
Soy milk and tofu contain phytoestrogens. These substances help block and suppress cancerous changes.

Garlic and onions fight cancerGarlic
Garlic – as well as onions, leeks, shallots and chives – has many anti-cancer substances. In particular, allicin appears to help break down cancer causing substances and enhance immunity to fight cancer.

Green tea
You’ve probably already heard that green tea offers many health benefits. The antioxidants in green and black tea appear to prevent cancer cells from dividing.

Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene. Studies have shown that lycopene stops cancer cell growth. Tomatoes also have vitamin C which has been shown to prevent cellular damage that can lead to cancer.

I admit that I would rather grab a cookie or a fudge round than eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans. But as I work at finding more balance in my life, I am noticing time and again that eating a more balanced diet of healthy foods can have a huge impact on all aspects of my life.