Six Top Tips
1) Produce Fun
Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, which occur naturally in plant foods and are part of the body’s disease-fighting arsenal. Nutritionists with Washington Cancer Institute encourage you to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, with approximately 2/3 of your dinner plate covered with vegetables, fruits and whole grains and/or beans, and just 1/3 with meat, poultry or fish.
To stay within a tight food budget, buy fresh produce in season when it is less expensive, use less costly frozen vegetables in soups and stews, and buy in bulk whenever possible.
2) Try Variety
Enjoy trying new fruits and vegetables each week to expand your food horizons and ensure that you eat a variety of nutrients. Each time you shop, put a new fruit or vegetable into your cart. If you are unsure how to prepare certain items, look for special recipes in the produce aisle, or search for recipes online or in cookbooks available in the library.
3) Add Color
By using color as a guideline for both variety and nutrition, you will naturally begin to incorporate a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Dark-green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, orange vegetables such as butternut squash and sweet potatoes, purple fruits such as grapes and berries – all are rich in cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
4) Food vs. Supplements
Eating a well-balanced diet is the best approach. If you follow the first three guidelines and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables complemented by other healthy food choices, you most likely will be meeting your nutritional needs in the most effective form.
5) Meat? Fat?
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the most nutritious diet is low in meats and fats, particularly animal and saturated fats. Remember, a serving of meat is only about the size of a deck of cards. And to avoid saturated fats, limit the amount of prepared foods that you eat, such as packaged cookies and crackers and salad dressings.
6) Get Moving!
Recent studies have shown that exercise can help lower your risk of cancer by increasing your energy level, strengthening the body’s immune function, and improving digestion, heart and lung capacity and hormone levels. Exercise also helps enhance self-esteem, reduce fatigue and relieve depression and anxiety. In short, exercise is an important part of a “living well” strategy.
Here are some simple tips for building regular exercise into your day. For more information, visit the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Shape Up America websites listed in the Resources section.
Steps Toward an Active Lifestyle
- First, talk to your doctor about when to start exercising and how much to do in the beginning.
- If you enjoy what you are doing, you are more likely to stick with it. So choose a physical activity that appeals to you, whether it is walking, gardening, dancing, playing tennis, swimming or doing water aerobics.
- Moderate levels of exercise are best, such as brisk walks. Begin exercising at a relaxed pace for 10-15 minutes and gradually increase the time you spend and the intensity of the activity.
- Explore new and different activities that stimulate the mind/body connection, such as yoga, tai chi or Pilates.
- When you get together with family and friends, build in physical activities that you enjoy, such as throwing a Frisbee or ball, flying a kite, playing badminton or pitching horseshoes.
- Whenever possible, exercise in a place that you find pleasant, such as a walking path, the beach, a park or around the city.
Tools & Techniques
• Six Top Tips
• Produce Fun
• Try Variety
• Add Color
• Food vs.
• Meat? Fat?
• Get Moving
• Power Foods