How to eat anything at dinner and still cut your cancer risk

Living a lifestyle that prevents cancer isn’t easy…

You have to say no to dessert more often than you’d like. Avoid wild nights out drinking with your friends. Wake up early to hit the gym. And eat more kale than you thought possible.

But a few sacrifices are totally worthwhile if they increase your odds of staying cancer-free, right?

Then again, occasionally you stumble upon a super simple and painless way to lower your cancer risk that doesn’t require much sacrifice at all. And you think to yourself… why the heck not?

I have one of those painless cancer prevention tricks to share with you today. New research shows you can lower your risk of breast and prostate cancer in an astonishingly simple way…

All you have to do is tweak your supper time a smidge.

Early eaters have less cancer

A recent study from researchers at Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that you can reduce your breast cancer and prostate cancer risk just by eating dinner early.

The study included data from 621 people with prostate cancer, 1,205 people with breast cancer, 872 cancer-free men and 1,321 cancer-free women.

Researchers looked at meal timing in all groups and found that eating dinner before 9 p.m., or at least two hours before going to sleep, slashed breast and prostate cancer risk by a whopping 20 percent.

If you’re not already eating early, that’s a pretty painless way to cut your cancer risk, am I right?

But you may be wondering why such a simple change could make such a big difference in your cancer risk…

It all comes down to your circadian rhythm, the natural biological rhythm of your body. You see, the biological processes in your body operate on a 24-hour cycle that’s triggered by daylight and darkness. When your body sees the light of day in the morning, it begins preparing itself for the day ahead by getting your digestive juices flowing, for example, so you’re ready to eat breakfast.

But the later (and darker) it gets, the more your body focuses on other things, like getting ready for sleep. When you eat a heavy meal late at night, your body has to shift energy away from sleep and back to digestion, which messes up your circadian rhythm. And circadian disruption is tied to a bunch of health risks, including an increased risk of prostate and breast cancer.

In fact, research shows other lifestyle factors that mess with your circadian rhythm (like working the night shift) increase your risk of breast and prostate cancer too.

So, the circadian rhythm-cancer connection is very real. And it’s something you should keep in mind when you’re making choices about your eating and sleeping habits.

Keeping your circadian rhythm in balance

Maybe you already eat dinner early. If you do, good for you! If you don’t, why not scoot dinnertime up and lower your cancer risk?

It’s a good idea to practice other habits that keep your circadian rhythm in balance too, like:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. Your circadian rhythm doesn’t like surprises. It likes consistency. So, give it what it wants by sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Getting sunlight in the morning hours. Whether you go for a walk in the morning or eat breakfast on your back patio, getting sunlight in the a.m. hours triggers all the bodily processes that get you through the day.
  • Avoiding bright lights at night. Too much light at night can trick your body into thinking it’s day time. It can also reduce your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which makes it harder to fall asleep. So, put away your digital devices, turn off the TV and hit the dimmer switch in the evening hours.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.