Week 1 of 10 Weeks of Wellness™ – Yoga & Nutrition

Yoga

Standing Forward Bend/ Uttanasana

Benefits of Uttanasana
  • Stretches hamstrings, thighs, and upper back
  • Helps relieve insomnia and headaches
  • Aids in digestion
Steps for getting into the Pose
  1. Stand up straight with the feet about 5 – 6 inches apart
  2. Bend the knees and fold the upper body down towards the floor
  3. Grab opposite elbows and hang, feel free to move side-to-side and gently shake the head
  4. Hold for 2 – 3 minutes

Nutrition

Cancer Fighting Foods

Research has shown that about one-third of cancers are related to nutritional factors, and studies suggest that eating a wide variety of nutrient dense, whole foods can help with both prevention and treatment. Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants, natural plant compounds that seem to protect and repair our DNA, some even affecting and controlling how cancer cells grow and spread. The vitamins and minerals in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans may also help control actual cell growth, while producing and repairing DNA.

It is recommended that we fill our plates two-thirds full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. These foods tend to be low in calories and saturated fat. And, in addition to containing cancer preventative properties, are shown to help reduce the occurrence of heart disease and diabetes, while supporting the overall immune system.

Here are a few recommended foods to keep in your dietary rotation:

Cruciferous Vegetables: Think broccoli, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula, watercress, and bok choy. All of these foods, especially the dark greens, have powerful phytonutrients, fiber, and vitamin C. Glucosinolates is the name of the specific nutrient compound found in these vegetables that is being highlighted in current research, particularly for the possibility that glucosinolates can protect against chemically-induced carcinogens, oxidative damage, and could block the initiation of tumors in a variety of tissue. It’s best to try to incorporate cruciferous vegetables into your diet in their fresh state or gently steamed in order to get the most cancer-fighting benefits from them. Regardless, cruciferous vegetables in all states of preparation are excellent for your health.

Berries: Think raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries. These fruits are known for their high levels of antioxidants, which are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of cells and the production of free radicals. When berries are in season (summertime for the Bay Area), find them grown organically, and eat them fresh on their own, with yogurt, granola, or even in salad. And you should be consuming berries year-round, since they retain their nutritional value even when frozen; not to mention being excellent add-ins to any blended smoothie.

Garlic: The National Cancer Institute formally recognizes the “stinking rose” as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties, with a particularly strong link to the prevention of cancers in the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, prostate, mouth & throat, kidney, and colorectal cancers). Garlic’s active agents—allyl sulfide compounds—are produced when the clove is chopped or crushed, breaking the cell walls and starting a cascade of chemical reactions leading to the desired sulfides. Heating the garlic immediately after chopping inactivates a crucial enzyme in the chemical chain, but once the compounds develop, they are quite stable and can even withstand cooking. Therefore, it is recommended to crush or chop the cloves, and then let them sit for 10 – 15 minutes before exposing them to heat.
Some other foods that are also included on the list of foods that studies have shown help prevent and battle cancer are tomatoes, grapes, green tea, and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like cold-water fish, flax seed oil, and beans.

For a full list of foods that are recommended and in the process being extensively researched, check out these websites:

airg.org
cancer.gov

Please consult with your physician or health care professional before changing your diet or beginning any new exercise program. This website article is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always check with your doctor and healthcare providers before beginning any fitness or nutrition related programs.