Fan of Early Bird Specials? Well, I have some great news. Your wallet savvy ways could be adding years to your life. Because according to some stunning new research tucking in earlier for dinner could significantly reduce cancer risk.
I know, it sounds strange. And if you’re having a hard time believing it, I really can’t blame you. I did too. Well, that is until I dug into the data.
According to new research out of Spain, eating dinner before 9:00 PM and at least a couple hours before your bedtime could send your cancer risk plummeting. So even if you’re not fond of eating right at 5, you can still take advantage of this timing trick.
Early Birds reduce cancer risk 20%
Folks in the study who regularly practiced this style of eating had a 20 percent lower risk of developing breast or prostate cancers, depending on gender.
And according to the researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, the findings are even more significant because breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and prostate is the second most common cancer in men.
In other words, this one small change to our dining habits could end up helping a whole lot of folks avoid cancer.
And as stunning as this research is, it isn’t even the first time we’ve seen this connection. A 2016 study out of the University of California, San Diego, came to a similar conclusion. Eating dinner earlier has significant health benefits.
Looking for the cancer link
Researchers are still working out exactly why this link exists. But they have some good theories. For example, many experts believe it has something to do with our sleep cycle.
We already know that frequent sleep disturbances can lead to major health problems. And eating later, or too close to bedtime, could be causing interrupted or poor sleep.
Other researchers are exploring whether or not folks who tend to eat late, or shortly before going to bed, have other habits which could be putting them at a higher risk for health problems.
4 MORE habits to reduce cancer risk
Of course, dining early and waiting at least two hours before climbing into bed aren’t the only things you can do to reduce cancer risk. A few other simple changes could help you stay healthy for years to come too.
Following are four more ways to significantly reduce cancer risk starting today…
1. Make healthy choices:
Eating earlier is great. But make sure those meals (and all your other ones as well) are healthy ones. Time and again, research has proven diet is the single most important tool we have to prevent diseases, including cancer.
Pack your plate with veggies of every color. Choose organic, make sure your beef was grass-fed and fish was wild caught. Limit your carbs and be sure the ones you do eat are healthy whole grains. And, of course, cut out the added sugar, processed foods and the fried stuff.
2. Watch your alcohol:
While a glass of wine may have some health benefits for your heart and even your eyes, moderation is the key. Ladies stick to one glass. And gentleman, most experts say you can indulge in two if you like.
But going beyond that could erase any potential health benefits. And in fact, the risks of overindulging could raise your risk for a variety of health problems, including cancer.
3. Beware of toxins:
Completely avoiding the toxins we’re exposed to every day is impossible. But we can take steps to cut back on them.
Certain chemicals such as benzene and vinyl chloride, for example, are carcinogens. Cutting back on certain products, or replacing them with safer options, could reduce your cancer risk.
- Benzene – found in paints, glues, furniture waxes, solvents, detergents
- Vinyl chloride – found in plastic PVC pipes, packaging material, flooring, toys
Cleaning and bath products can contain cancer-linked chemicals too such as phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, benzene and petroleum distillates. Read labels and choose “green” or natural products whenever possible.
4. Mind your D:
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D. Chronically low D levels have been linked to certain cancers including colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer. And experts say many folks fall short on this vital vitamin, especially seniors.
If you live in a sunny climate spending 15-20 minutes in the sun every day without sunscreen on and with lots of skin exposed can usually provide what you need. But if daily sun exposure isn’t possible, or you don’t happen to live in Florida or another sunny locale, talk to your doctor about testing your levels and taking a supplement.