Researchers all seem to agree on at least one point—the Western world is killing itself slowly by choosing to be obese and far too sedentary. As part of the 2009 American Association of Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting, Harvard School of Public Medicine nutritionist Walter Willet presented an overview entitled "Diet, Nutrition and Cancer: The Search for Truth." In it, he said:
"The estimate that diet contributes to around 30 to 35 percent of cancers is still reasonable, but much of this is related to being overweight and inactive. At this point, being overweight is second only to smoking as a clear and avoidable cause of cancer. ... People should stay as lean as they can."
Your body mass index (BMI) should be between 18.5 and 24.9 as a healthy weight for an adult. If you are overweight or obese according to the BMI, change your diet and read my book Dr. Colbert's "I Can Do This" Diet. Also find an exercise routine you can stick with and read my book Get Fit and Live! Getting down to your healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your body to prevent cancer. Belly fat raises the CRP (C-reactive protein), and elevated CRP is associated with an increased risk of cancer.
How often do you exercise during the week? Did you know that getting out and jogging, walking or bicycling—or participating in any type of regular, moderate form of exertion—can help you avoid cancer? It's time to get up off that couch and get active! Regular exercise is one of the best ways to maintain good health. Besides, I have a feeling that God takes pleasure in the health of our bodies:
"He gives power to the faint, and to those who have no might He increases strength. ... But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint" (Is. 40:29, 31).
Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have lower incidences of cancer in general. Another great thing about exercise is that it makes our digested food move more quickly through the GI tract. That way it can't sit there and produce potentially cancer-causing toxins. Exercise also lowers the risks of endometrial and breast cancers by reducing a woman's body fat (which produces estrogen, an encourager of several cancers).
"Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases" (Ps. 103:3).
The best form of exercise is aerobic exercise, which includes brisk walking, cycling, rebounding, swimming or jogging. Some doctors say that just 30 minutes of exercise every other day can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 75 percent! You see, cancer cells are anaerobic, which means they don't thrive in high-oxygen environments. Exercise pumps oxygen to your cells, giving your body an added ability to win the war against cancer. I encourage you to read Get Fit and Live!, which includes an entire chapter of exercise workouts for people battling cancer.
Sleep Is a Reward of the Righteous—and Good for Your Immune System!
Research suggests that inadequate sleep and rest may shorten your life by eight to 10 years, if not more, because you have weakened your immune function and probably decreased your natural killer cell count, which is your first line of defense against cancer. A lot of people think of sleep as a time when everything shuts down, but the truth is your body does a lot of important repair work and immune surveillance while you are asleep. Lack of sleep may also raise cortisol levels, which suppress immune function. Melatonin, a compound we discussed in the last chapter, has anticarcinogenic properties and is produced while you sleep, so cutting sleep short over and over again is often what leads to being deficient in it. No wonder the Bible tells us:
"It is in vain for you to rise up early, to stay up late, and to eat the bread of hard toil, for He gives sleep to His beloved" (Ps. 127:2).
All of us need at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night (eight hours is usually ideal), and if you are not getting that, you are not giving your body the time it needs daily to repair and rejuvenate itself. If you are suffering from insomnia, you are weakening your immune system and increasing your risk of cancer. For more information on insomnia, refer to my book The New Bible Cure for Sleep Disorders.
Dedicate Your Days to God
I want to remind you to keep praying and seeking God as you make these dietary and lifestyle changes! Take a lesson from the prophet: "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to You, into Your holy temple" (Jonah 2:7).
Even if you don't feel like praying, keep on approaching the throne of grace every day; your prayers do come before the Lord as much as your daily decisions and behavior do. I know it can be difficult. If you have some form of cancer, the pain and weakness can bring on bouts of discouragement. But those who wrote the Bible learned about God in the same ways that you and I learn about Him. They became discouraged and fearful at times too, so David wrote these words of truth and encouragement:
"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the contrite of spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all" (Ps. 34:17-19).
These are certainly words to live by.
A Bible Cure Prayer for You
Father, guide my days and my steps as I seek to follow You with all of my heart. Keep me free of sickness and disease, especially any form of cancer that would try to keep me from fulfilling all You have called me to do on this earth. Guide me to walk in divine health and in ways that prevent disease so it is never an issue. Heal my mind and attitude as much as my body, and make me an example of all I should be as Your follower. As I love You with all of my strength, heart, soul and mind, strengthen each of those areas through the power of Your Spirit. I ask this in the name above every name, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
This article is an excerpt from The New Bible Cure for Cancer: Ancient Truths, Natural Remedies, and the Latest Findings for Your Health Today by Don Colbert, M.D. Copyright 2010 by Don Colbert, M.D.
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