Cancer prevention tip: Drink up!

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This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme  

We’ve discussed healthy food options that lower cancer risk, but did you know certain drinks also have disease-fighting properties?  Research has demonstrated how common, popular beverages can be valuable tools in the fight against cancer. Whether you prefer hot or cold options, pick up a mug (or glass) and get your body into fighting shape.

Do you often crave a morning cup of coffee? It could just be the best way to start your day. As we already know, coffee might keep prostate cancer away – and do even more than that. Researchers discovered that people who drink at least half a cup of coffee a day might reduce their risk of glioma, a type of brain tumor, by 34 percent.  The antioxidants in coffee and tea might explain these effects. Plus, research has associated coffee and tea with protective benefits against additional cancers and brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer.

Coffee is a valuable player in the fight against cancer, but remember, moderation is always advisable. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, excessive amounts of coffee or tea might cause restlessness, anxiety or irritability. People also tend to add cream or sugar to their morning pick-me-up, which boosts calories and saturated fat levels.

Although coffee is the staple of busy adults, some people haven’t outgrown a cold glass of milk in the morning. Keep it up! Milk packs calcium that may protect against colorectal cancer. Skim or low-fat milk, various dairy products, broccoli and kale are great sources of calcium. Plus, vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium to enhance this nutrient’s life-saving benefits. Try egg yolks, fish, and safe time in the sun to add this vitamin to your body’s cancer-fighting arsenal.

What you drink matters, but so does the way you drink it. The President’s Cancer Panel shared a report on how to reduce exposure to carcinogens, and suggested people filter their water and drink out of glass or stainless steel containers. These options can reduce exposure to chemical contaminants such as BPA, which can leach from plastic bottles.

Did you find this information helpful? Visit www.ahealthiermichigan.org/cancerawareness to find more cancer awareness and prevention content, as well as stories from survivors across Michigan. Armed with as much knowledge as possible, we’ll be on the right track to #KickCancer.

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