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This awesome post was written by Alina Islam, a wonderful Certified Nutritional Practitioner from Toronto, Canada. She is a writer, speaker and nutritional consultant. You can read more of her work at AlinaIslam.com or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Let’s forget statistics for a second. And studies. I’ll get to them in a minute, but for now I want you to forget them. When it comes to the topic of cancer, let’s revert back to pure logic.

Cancer is a disease that starts in our cells. That is something that everyone can agree upon. In order to function, each cell requires nutrients such as good fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Without these nutrients, the cell membrane can become brittle, develop holes and leave the cell’s DNA unprotected, and open to mutations. Would it then not seem logical that the first place to start with cancer protection would be providing cells with adequate nutrition?

Cancer has become an increasingly overwhelming and confusing subject. Not only for everyday people, but also practitioners in the healthcare field. There are studies coming out left and right about protecting yourself from the dangers of “X, Y and Z,” so much so that it makes you wonder if you should order a Hazmat suit and just sit in a padded room to protect yourself.

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The fact of the matter is that yes there are an increasingly higher number of cancer risks in the modern world now due to radiation exposure, chemicals found in toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning products, pesticides, etc. But the first place that someone should begin with is the basics – a healthy diet, exercise and mindset.

If your cells are healthy, and if the detoxification pathways are functioning as they should be in the body, you will be better equipped to fight off the harmful effects of environmental cancer risks. Believe me, avoiding deodorants and microwaves won’t be of much help if you’re chugging back Kool-Aid every day.

Here are my top five tips to get started:

1. Eliminate refined sugar

Refined sugar masks as white, table sugar that’s added into cereals, flavored yogurts, fruit juices, ketchup, pasta sauce, condiments, granola bars, cookies, crackers, pastries and ice-cream…just to name a few. Be mindful of reading sugar labels and your best chance of avoiding it is simply making food from scratch, minimizing your intake or buying from handpicked vendors.

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Research has proven that sugar increases the risk of multiple types of cancer including ovarian, pancreatic, gastric, biliary tract, colon, gallbladder, lung, breast, small intestine, laryngeal, stomach, rectum, endometrial and renal cell cancer.

2. Cut out processed food

We’ve all heard of toxins. This is something that is capable of causing disease or damaging tissue when it enters the body. It could even be beneficial nutrients like Vitamin A or water, when taken at a toxic dose.

Similarly, an occasional bite of toxins such as high fructose corn syrup or industrial seed oils is unlikely to do much harm. Unfortunately, these toxins are present in nearly all processed food items at the grocery store (pretty much anything that comes in a box) and makes up the majority of many households’ diet on a daily basis.

3. Eat organic, local and grass-fed as much as possible

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The argument goes that pesticides are toxic for pests, and not for humans. But, regular consumption of toxins can accumulate in the body. Many pesticides are known carcinogens and research has shown that pesticides can be linked to cancers in humans.

4. Exercise on a regular basis

Studies have concluded that there is a direct correlation between a higher BMI, in other words being overweight or obese, and a higher cancer risk. In the words of Dr. Peter Campbell of the American Cancer Society: “We have sufficient evidence that obesity is an important cause of unnecessary suffering and death from many forms of cancer.”

Not only does exercise assist with weight loss, but exercise generates sweat, which aids detoxification, in particular of heavy metals, from the body.

5. Take a time-out

In the next decade, we are likely to see many more studies conducted to explore the connection between stress and cancer risk. But to date, we know that stress suppresses the immune system, and it restricts blood flow to our digestive system and organs, inhibiting normal repair and replacement of cells. Surely, a weak immune system isn’t an ideal scenario when it comes to cancer prevention.

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Alina Islam
Certified Nutritional Practitioner, CNP
"Alina Islam is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) and in-house nutritionist at The Hearty Soul in Toronto, Canada. Through her relatable approach, Alina loves to educate and empower her clients to create long-lasting, sustainable change using food, lifestyle and natural supplements as her toolkit. Click here to claim her free eBook, 'The Beginner's Guide to Meal Prep' to lose up to 10 pounds, skyrocket your energy and take control of your health."
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