3 Simple Changes That Will Save Your Life

DenaMarch 18, 2010

This post could save your life. These 3 simple lifestyle changes saved mine. Today I am going to simply share facts with you. These facts (if you let them) will dramatically improve your quality of life. Making these changes can even increase your life span.

1. Stop Smoking

FACTS: According to the American Heart Association, cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States, accounting for 440,000 of the more than 2.4 million annual deaths.

Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. In fact, smoking tobacco is the major risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women are due to smoking. People who smoke are 10 to 20 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. The longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the more risk goes up.

Smoking also causes cancer of the voice box (larynx), mouth and throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, and stomach, and causes acute myeloid leukemia. Source.

FACTS: One year after passing smoking bans, communities in North America and Europe had 17 percent fewer heart attacks compared to communities without smoking restrictions, and the number of heart attacks kept decreasing with time, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Source.

FACTS: If you quit smoking, you will:

1. Prolong your life. According to the American Heart Association, smokers who quit between ages 35-39 add an average of 6-9 years to their lives. Smokers who quit between ages 65-69 increase their life expectancy by 1 – 4 years.

2. Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of repeat heart attacks and death from heart disease by 50 percent or more. Quitting smoking also reduces your risk of high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease and stroke.

3. Reduce your risk of developing a variety of other conditions including diabetes, lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma, ulcers, gum disease and many other conditions.

4. Feel healthier. After quitting, you won’t cough as much, have as many sore throats and you will increase your energy.

5. Look and feel better. Quitting can help you prevent face wrinkles, get rid of stained teeth, improve your skin and even get rid of the stale smell in your clothes and hair.

6. Improve your sense of taste and smell.

7. Save money. Source.

FACTS: What Happens When You Quit:

After 20 minutes
o You stop polluting the air
o Your blood pressure and pulse decrease
o The temperature of your hands and feet increases

After 8 hours
o The carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal
o Oxygen levels in your blood increase

After 24 hours
o Your risk of heart attack decreases

After 48 hours
o Nerve endings adjust to the absence of nicotine
o Your ability to taste and smell begin to return

After 2 weeks to 3 months
o Your circulation improves
o Your exercise tolerance improves

After 1 – 9 months
o Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease
o Your overall energy level increases

After 1 year
o Your risk of heart disease decreases to half that of a current smoker

After 5 – 15 years
o Your risk of stroke is reduced to that of people who have never smoked

After 10 years
o Your risk of dying from lung cancer drops to almost the same rate as a lifelong non- smoker
o You decrease the incidence of other cancers — of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas

After 15 years
o Your risk of heart disease is reduced to that of people who have never smoked

If you smoke again (called a relapse) do not lose hope. Seventy-five percent of those who quit relapse. Most smokers quit three times before they are successful. If you relapse, don’t give up! Review the reasons why you wanted to become a nonsmoker. Plan ahead and think about what you will do next time you get the urge to smoke. Source.

2. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

QUESTION: How many people get cancer by being overweight or obese? How many die?

FACTS: In 2002, about 41,000 new cases of cancer in the United States were estimated to be due to obesity. This means that about 3.2 percent of all new cancers are linked to obesity.

A recent report estimated that, in the United States, 14 percent of deaths from cancer in men and 20 percent of deaths in women were due to overweight and obesity.

Colon cancer occurs more frequently in people who are obese than in those of a healthy weight. An increased risk of colon cancer has been consistently reported for men with high BMIs.

FACTS: Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,” the risks for the following conditions also increases:

* Coronary heart disease
* Type 2 diabetes
* Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
* Hypertension (high blood pressure)
* Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
* Stroke
* Liver and Gallbladder disease
* Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
* Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
* Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility) Source.

3. Eat Whole Foods, Not Processed

FACTS: The statistics are alarming:

– One in three people will get cancer at some time in their life

– Heart disease is the leading cause of death

– Poor nutrition and physical inactivity together are the second
actual cause of preventable death in the United States

On the other hand new evidence shows that:

– Eating five or more fruits and vegetables per day cuts cancer
risk in half

– People who eat more fruits and vegetables have a 30% lower risk
of premature heart attack than people who eat a few

– About 25% fewer strokes are projected for adults who eat 8 or
more servings of fruits and vegetables per day

– Fruits and vegetables may help keep blood sugar down and control diabetes.” Source.

FACTS: Processed meat consumption results in 67% increase in pancreatic cancer risk.

FACTS: Inorganic phosphates are found in a variety of processed foods, including meats, cheeses, beverages and bakery products. They are added to increase water retention and improve food texture. Studies suggests a diet high in inorganic phosphates could speed growth of cancerous tumors and contribute to the development of tumors in those predisposed to the disease. Source.

FACTS: Carcinogens in foods that may be naturally-occurring, caused by preparing or cooking certain foods, or added to it, include safrole, estragole and benzene. Processed foods such as sausages, bacon and canned meats contain high amounts of the preservative nitrite, another known carcinogen. Other carcinogens to look for in food products include:

* acetaldehyde
* acetamide
* azo color and compounds
* benzidine
* bis (2-Chloromethyl) ether
* cadmium
* chlorinated parraffin waxes
* 3,3-dichlorobenzidine
* dichloromethane
* hexachlorobenzene
* polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
* polychlorinated dibenzodioxins
* polychlorinated dibenzofurans
* sillica
* trichloroethylene

Though it is impossible to avoid every known carcinogen, to decrease risk of cancers and other illnesses, a balanced diet with more unprocessed, whole foods can decrease risk of some cancers and other diseases such as type two diabetes and heart disease. Source.

FACTS: Nutrients in Whole Foods that Protect Against Cancer:

1. Vitamin A: Strengthens the immune system. Essential for mineral metabolism and endocrine function. Helps detoxify. True vitamin A is found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil; fish and shellfish; and liver, butter and egg yolks from pasture-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin A than the typical modern American diet.

2. Vitamin C: An important antioxidant that prevents damage by free radicals. Found in many fruits and vegetables but also in certain organ meats valued by primitive peoples.

3. Vitamin B6: Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Contributes to the function of over 100 enzymes. Most available from animal foods.

4. Vitamin B12: Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Found only in animal foods.

5. Vitamin B17: Protects against cancer. Found in a variety of organically grown grains, legumes, nuts and berries.

6. Vitamin D: Required for mineral absorption. Strongly protective against breast and colon cancer. Found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil, lard, shellfish and butterfat, organ meats and egg yolks from grass-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin D than the typical modern American diet.

7. Vitamin E: Works as an antioxidant at the cellular level. Found in unprocessed oils as well as in animal fats like butter and egg yolks.

8. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Strongly protective against breast cancer. Found in the butterfat and meat fat of grass-fed ruminant animals.

9. Cholesterol: A potent antioxidant that protects against free radicals in cell membranes. Found only in animal foods.

10. Minerals: The body needs generous amounts of a wide variety of minerals to protect itself against cancer. Minerals like zinc, magnesium and selenium are vital components of enzymes that help the body fight carcinogens. Minerals are more easily absorbed from animal foods.

11. Lactic Acid and Friendly Bacteria: Contribute to the health of the digestive tract. Found in old fashioned lacto-fermented foods.

12. Saturated Fats: Strengthen the immune system. Needed for proper use of the essential fatty acids. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats. Found mostly in animal foods.

13. Long-Chain Fatty Acids: Arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help fight cancer on the cellular level. They are found mostly in animal foods such as butter, organ meats, cod liver oil and seafood.

14. Co-enzyme Q10: Highly protective against cancer. Found only in animal foods. Source.

In closing: I truly hope that you will begin living these simple lifestyle changes. If you are non-smoker, not obese, and already eating whole foods, then I challenge you to help to spread this message to as many people as you can. All of the suffering and the disease mentioned above is not necessary. It can be prevented.

Comments (10)

  • The Gourmet Cupboard » Blog Archive » Different Flavors of Goats Cheese

    March 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    […] 3 Simple Changes That Will Save Your Life : evolution you […]

  • stopsmokinghabits

    March 19, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Giving up an addiction that you’ve had most of your life can be very difficult. Many smokers
    who want to quit their unhealthy habit hesitate because they feel that it’s too late or it’
    s too hard for them to quit. Fortunately this is not true. It’s never too late to change a
    bad habit.

    1. Dena

      March 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

      Thanks for the comment, Gebie. And thank you for what you are doing to help others save their health & lives.

  • Forest

    March 19, 2010 at 5:59 am

    I have never smoked so that’s good on that front 🙂

    As for weight I let myself get overweight but kept a degree of health from running (just offset with lots of drinking and eating). Anyway after a few months hard work I just have a tiny bit to lose and I am back on track there.

    As for wholefoods, I am vegetarian and mostly cook from scratch. I eat brown rice but can’t find brown pasta here in Egypt. I eat pulses and vegetables and use a variety of healthy spices…. I do have a bad tendency for cola though 🙁

    Thanks for the article so many people NEED to implement more of these tips.

    PS, Yoga did wonders for me losing weight and actually gaining cardio strength.. It’s amazing.

    1. Dena

      March 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Hey Forest! Thank you for the great comment & for sharing your story. It sounds like you are on an excellent path to health. I am proud of you. Stay away from that Cola, friend.

      By the way, I absolutely LOVE yoga!

  • harvestwages

    March 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Cigarettes are really dangerous. i never love it, and don’t think i will ever live with it.

    1. Dena

      March 23, 2010 at 9:11 am

      Good for you. It is a terrible habit to have. I am sorry I ever took it up but grateful that it is no longer a part of my life.

  • Bret @ Hope to Prosper

    March 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Very well done.

    There is so much important science and information coming out about nutrician. And, the link to chronic health problems is undeniable.

    Unfortunately, food producers would rather act like their foods are healthy, than to produce foods that really are. But, consumers are starting to figure out how many health problems are related to food additives. And, they are starting to avoid processed foods.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Dena

      March 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

      Hey Bret! Great comment, thanks so much for posting. I watched Food Inc. this weekend and to say that my perspective about food & food producers is radically changed would be an understatement. You are so right. We have to start educating ourselves about where our food is coming from. Processed foods are literally killing us.

      Thanks for helping to spread the message.

  • uberVU – social comments

    March 22, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by DenaBotbyl: 3 Simple Changes That Will Save Your Life http://goo.gl/fb/KqRR via @denabotbyl…

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