Evidence-based research lends us insight into lifestyle factors that influence chances of getting ovarian cancer. Although there are risk factors out of our control, it's our responsibility to identify any areas where we can improve our lifestyle choices and to make the necessary changes.
A large pool of more than 170,000 subjects were followed in the Nurses' Health Study to compare the amount of antioxidants their diet was providing with their ovarian cancer risk.
The specific antioxidants that were studied were flavonoids. Although more than 4,000 flavanoids have been identified, this study focused on what appear to be the most important components of most fruits and vegetables: flavanones, flavonols, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavones, and polymeric flavonoids.
As intake of these antioxidants went up, risk of ovarian cancer significantly went down (by 21%). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that these antioxidants can influence and regulate many of the complex cellular signaling pathways that, in normal cells, control cell multiplication, motility, and survival. It is these cellular pathways that are altered in cancerous diseases.
Thankfully, incorporating sources of these antioxidants into our daily diets is a simple change. Main sources of these antioxidants are tea (green and black), citrus fruits, and berries. The Nurses' Health Study honed in on a few specific antioxidants and how they impact ovarian cancer risk:
- Quercetin inhibited proliferation, or uncontrollable growth, of ovarian cancer cells. This is one of the most widely prevalent antioxidants in vegetables such as onions and broccoli or fruits such as apples, cranberries, and grapes.
- Apigenin and luteolin, two main flavones, also inhibited cell growth in even small quantities. A major source of apigenin is celery, lettuce, and parsley. Luteolin's anti-cancer benefits can be reaped from veggies such as beets, bell and hot peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lettuces, spinach, and thyme.
EnergyFirst's Advanced Antioxidant Complex includes quercetin in its most bioavailable form - quercetin dihydrate. It works synergistically with other antioxidants found in the supplement, including green tea catechins and resveratrol.
How Would you Rate Your Diet?
The Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine reports that approximately 35% of cancers are caused by dietary and nutritional errors. The article continues by encouraging investing more time in preparing balanced, healthy meals. A healthy diet not only helps prevent cancerous diseases but it helps improve effectiveness of cancer treatment. A healthy diet can reduce side effects, enhance immunity, and decrease the risk of complications during cancer treatment.
Several studies show that if the overall diet quality of women is high before ever being diagnosed, they have a 27% lower risk of dying after an ovarian cancer diagnosis. One study found that a diet rich in green and orange-yellow vegetables was associated with a 39% longer survival rate.
There's a reason why the ingredients in our Greenergy blend are superfoods. Not only does it contain green tea extracts, but it also has potent, chemoprotective phytonutrients from greens such as spirulina, spinach, barley grass, kale, and broccoli. It's an easy way to get 5-7 servings of antioxidant-packed high-quality organic greens in one little scoop. The phytochemicals found in Greenergy complement each other and their actions overlap as they work together to mop up free radicals, keep your bloodstream clean by preventing the formation of clots, boost activity of detoxifying enzymes, and stimulate the immune system. Sure, cooking a balanced healthy meal may take some planning, chopping, and thinking on your part. However, isn't it worth the investment? Though the effort needed to plan and prepare healthy meals may present some minor inconveniences at first, consider all the major misfortunes that can be avoided. The journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reports that ovarian risk goes down with regular and recommended intake of total vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and supplementation of vitamin E, beta-carotene, and B-complex vitamins.
Interestingly, one of the main priorities of the EnergyFirst program - keeping blood sugar levels stable - is also a protective measure against ovarian cancer. The EnergyFirst program stresses providing the body with all needed nutrients for optimal energy and health with blood-sugar stabilizing meals and snacks. A true meal will keep your blood sugar stable, minimizing the release of insulin, controlling hunger and cravings, and keeping you energized for about 4-6 hours.
Weighing In on Ovarian Cancer Risk
Yet another reason to weigh-in regularly! Researchers suspect that obesity is associated with a greater risk of ovarian cancer risk. Although the role isn't crystal clear, a hormonal link is noticed. Also, obesity may delay diagnosis, making it harder to identify the cancer in its earlier, less risky stages. Obesity also makes cancer treatment more difficult. Obtaining and maintaing a healthy weight is a great protective measure against ovarian cancer.
Exercise: taking an ACTIVE role against ovarian cancer
Regular physical activity can result in a 5-fold decrease ovarian cancer risk. Regular and moderate physical activity may protect against ovarian cancer by boosting immune system function and regulating hormone levels.
Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle can promote ovarian cancer. For example, one research study found that women who spent 6 or more hours each day participating in sedentary behavior (such as watching television, reading, etc) had a 55% higher incidence of ovarian cancer than women who limited sedentary behavior to less than 3 hours per day.
September's Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to reassess our lifestyle habits and take a measure of responsibility for making the necessary improvements. After all, "improvement" begins with I. This special month also enourages women to consider their family history of ovarian cancer, take any necessary genetic tests, blood tests, or pelvic exams to monitor risk. Being that ovarian cancer is considered a silent killer for its subtle symptoms, women are also encouraged to watch out for key symptoms. These include pelvic or abdominal pain, bloating, urinary urgency, and even constipation.
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