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Sunday, March 16, 2014

6 Tips for Preventing the Deadliest Diseases Among Men

Last week, in celebration of International Women's Day, I wrote about Preventing the Deadliest Diseases Among Women. This week I'm going to focus on men.

By far, the leading causes of death among men in the United States are heart disease (24.9%) and cancer (24.4%), followed by unintentional injuries (6.2%) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.3%).

The two conditions that kill the most men - heart disease and cancer - have two underlying factors in common: inflammation and environmental toxicity. Excessive inflammatory activity and exposure to harmful chemicals in the environment promote heart disease as well as cancer.

Men can reduce their risk of dying from heart disease or cancer by adopting diet and lifestyle habits that reduce inflammation and minimize exposure to environmental toxins. These six tips will get you started.

#1  Spice up your life.
Season your food with herbs and spices that fight inflammation and promote detoxification like cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, garlic, onions, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, parsley, cilantro, and citrus zest.

#2  Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
Avoid foods that increase inflammation like sweets, starches, processed foods, and pro-inflammatory fats. Instead eat foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory fats like avocado, olives, coconut, raw nuts and seeds, non-toxic fish and seafood, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meats, and cold-pressed oils. Green vegetables enhance the body's ability to eliminate environmental toxins, so make them half of every meal, and be sure to include a concentrated source of protein because our bodies can't detox without it.

#3  Exercise regularly. 
Exercise has anti-inflammatory effects on the body and helps us eliminate toxins. Healthy adults need about 3 hours each week of a combination of aerobic, strengthening, and stretching exercise. Unhealthy adults may need more. If you don't exercise already, or if you want to step up your routine, get permission from your doctor first. 

#4  Manage Stress.
High levels of stress hormones like cortisol promote inflammation and compromise the body's ability to detoxify. If you're feeling stressed, learn techniques to manage it more effectively like relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or self-hypnosis.

#5  Stop smoking and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.
Smoking causes inflammation and pollutes the body with toxins. And it's one of the most common causes of heart disease and lung cancer. Studies show that inhaling second hand smoke is also deadly and that quitting smoking has bigger benefits than we once thought. 


#6  Detox once or twice a year.
Babies are born with up to 232 chemicals already inside their bodies and studies have found almost 500 different chemicals in people of all ages. Detoxification removes environmental toxins. It also reduces inflammation and helps prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer, among other conditions. If you're not sure where to start, read my new book, The Prediabetes Detox, whether you have prediabetes or not. 

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