SustainableQATAR’s 52 weekly challenges – that is one challenge per week for a whole year themed by month – are Qatar-specific and Qatar-relevant opportunities for all residents to take actions in personal life, work and within our communities.
Read the blog post on the July Theme ~ FOOD
Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Receiving Cancer news is just so shocking. It makes us feel completely helpless and makes us ask: why him/her/me? Will he/she/I survive? Could he/she/I have prevented it?
I remember when my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. My whole family was filled with fear and despair, I could not even imagine a world without his beautiful eyes and his wisdom! At the same time, I was very angry. Why did he not do anything to prevent that? I knew little about cancer but knew that a healthy lifestyle could help to prevent some diseases. My father was an obese, sedentary smoker which increased his risk in developing cancer.
Dad had surgery and luckily recovered. As a result, we started to explore how lifestyle can actually reduce risks of developing cancer and even prevent it. According to an American study only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects, whereas the remaining 90–95% have their root cause in the environment and lifestyle, with as many as 30–35% linked to diet.
A comprehensive review of thousands of studies on diet, physical activity, and weight conducted for the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research pointed to the benefits of eating a mostly plant-based diet. At the same time, several studies demonstrated that long-term consumption of red meat and particularly of processed meat is associated with an increased risk of total mortality, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Some superfoods in a plant-based diet appear to be particularly healthy and useful in cancer prevention. Here are 10 superfoods that can greatly contribute to lowering risks factors for developing cancer:
Choosing these superfoods adds to our plant-based diet and climate action because a more plant-based diet could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts are plants that grow by transforming carbon dioxide into oxygen and require much less processing to bring to market, therefore have a much lower carbon footprint.
So, let’s fill up our shopping cart with wonderfully fresh plant-based super-food! This is not only good for our health, but has a positive impact on the environment, too. As a new Tulane University study states, healthier diets are more climate-friendly: people whose diets are healthier typically eat less red meat and dairy – which contribute to a larger share of greenhouse gas emissions – and consume more healthful foods like whole grains, fruits, plant-based proteins, poultry and fish – which have a smaller carbon footprint.
And try to buy organic. A new French study has reported that the most frequent consumers of organic food had 25 percent fewer cancers overall than those who never ate organic. We can choose organic rather than non-organic considering the quantity of pesticides typically used for a specific product. Find out for which food products it is more important to choose organic in EWG’s 2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.
We can reduce our risk factors for developing cancer through lifestyle choices including a healthy diet. As suggested by the World Cancer Research Fund, other cancer risk reducing behaviors include maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, limiting “fast foods” as well as red and processed meat and sugar-sweetened drinks, limiting alcohol consumption, abstaining from smoking, and choosing supplements wisely.
My father has started to incorporate valuable superfoods into his meals and to follow the advice above! We all can do the same today to potentially stop cancer in its tracks. We create our future; we are responsible for our health. By taking these simple steps, we can contribute to delivering UN Sustainable Development Goals #3 Health and wellbeing, #12 responsible consumption and production, and #13 Climate Action.
We know it takes more than a few small personal initiatives to make our planet eco-friendly. But if you can make one lifestyle change each day this coming week, it’s a start! So are you going to participate in this week's challenge? Let us know what you think about SustainableQATAR’s 52 weekly challenges! And also don’t forget to give us a like and a share – you know it keeps us going!
Also read: https://www.iloveqatar.net/news/community/sustainableqatars-weekly-challenge-20-food-growing-our-own-food
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