Nothing impacts a family more than the sting of cancer or a life-threatening disease. In 1930, the cancer rates were one in thirty. For today’s children, the rates are now one in two for getting cancer in their lifetime. In 2020, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death behind cancer and heart disease. Research clearly shows that lifestyle is a major player with genetics playing a minor role in many diseases.
Today’s parents are wise to put a cancer and disease prevention plan in place in addition to protecting their children from COVID-19. Fortunately, God created our bodies with an innate ability to heal! When you implement these six prevention tips, you enable your body to unleash its own God-given healing against cancer and diseases including Covid-19.
Encourage Children to Hydrate
You can give your children an immune boost by encouraging them to drink two glasses of water after rising. Proper hydration enables our immune system and every cell and system in our bodies to function properly (https://ssihi.uci.edu/tip/hydration-for-immune-system/). During this pandemic, sufficient hydration is crucial as it creates mucus in the respiratory system, which provides a crucial barrier against infections and viruses.
At a minimum, each family member should drink half their body weight in fluid ounces daily. Unfortunately, most Americans, including children are dehydrated due to drinking too many caffeinated drinks such as sodas, which increase dehydration. Did you know that our body’s need for water is almost as critical as our need for food and oxygen? Proper hydration also enables your children to pay attention and think clearly in school. Consider water a life-giving elixir. And it’s free, so drink up. Contribute to a low-sugar diet through drinking Healthy Alternatives to Sugary Drinks.
Regenerate through Restorative Sleep
Our body performs miracles continually throughout the day to protect us from disease. However, the miracles of healing increase exponentially when we engage in deep, restorative sleep. Did you know that our bodies heal, repair and detox when we sleep? Melatonin, a prominent cancer fighter and immune builder, is released during deep sleep (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1325257/#). This healing process is free, and many times your cure can be as close as your pillow. If you engage in deep sleep regularly, COVID-19 will be less likely to activate in your body. But there’s more. Regular deep sleep prevents cancer. It also allows children to convert their learning to long-term storage, and along with proper hydration, enables children to pay attention.
The sedentary lifestyle contributes to many diseases. Movement is key to vibrant health. Medical professionals know that our bodies work best when we move during the day. Why? Because movement increases the production of our immune killer B and T cells, (https://ashpublications.org/bloodadvances/article/4/8/1801/454550/Impact-of-exercise-on-the-immune-system-and) and it also helps our lymphatic system take out our body’s trash. During the quarantine, many people became couch potatoes instead of enhancing their health by exercising. As a former cancer patient, I knew that walking would relieve stress and keep my immune system and organs working properly. Exercise also reduces my risk for cancer recurrence. What a better way to enhance your families’ health and reduce stress than to spend time together walking as a family. Read the blog, 6 Steps to Fun Family Fitness for more ideas.
Nourish Gut and Body with Low-Sugar Diet
During the quarantine, potato chip sales skyrocketed. We need to realize we are what we eat, and binging on comfort foods only suppresses our immune system and adds to our belly fat. Did you know our body can be strengthened through eating a nutrient-rich, more plant-based diet (https://www.aicr.org/resources/blog/what-is-a-plant-based-diet-aicrs-take/)? All fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants, which prevent cancer and boost the immune system. For more information read my blog, Top Ten Cancer Fighting Foods.
Children need a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. The Standard American Diet (SAD), which is comprised of highly, processed foods, fried foods, and excessive sugar suppresses the immune system. In addition, gluten, dairy, and food allergies can suppress the immune system in some children. It’s wise to avoid high-sugar foods that cause blood sugar spikes. Eat nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables as snacks. For more snack ideas read Healthy Snacks for Kids.
Eating a diet full of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds enhances the gut lining. This important lining is where 70 percent of our immune system and cells are located (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x). When the lining is properly nourished with probiotics such as fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi) and is fed by prebiotic fiber from plants, this barrier allows the beneficial nutrients to flow throughout the body and keeps the bad things out. A healthy gut can take care of many germs and viruses that enter the body. Consider your gut as an essential part of your self-healing protective armor that decreases cancer risk and many chronic diseases.
Communicate Feelings & Gratitude
Feelings of anxiety and worry both increase the burden on the body and immune system. During times of uncertainty, it’s important to allow children an opportunity to express their feelings and concerns. It’s also important to teach them the practice of daily gratitude. When we express feelings and concentrate on the “good things” rather than the negative news around us, it promotes healing in the body (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/improve-health-practice-gratitude/art-20270841).
Vaccinate & Following CDC Guidelines
In public, wear a mask, wash hands, socially distance, isolate the sick, and avoid touching what others touch. Don’t send your children to school if they have symptoms. It’s not about our rights; it’s about using wise common sense, protecting others, and treating others the way we want to be treated. This lessens everyone’s exposure to COVID-19, and when 80 percent of our population either contracts COVID-19 or gets the vaccine, we reach herd immunity. Consult with your doctor and ask if the vaccine is advisable for your individual family members.
As a cancer survivor, I learned these steps through the school of hard knocks. These tips allow your immune system to work as God intended. With cancer rates continuing to increase annually and this pandemic still hovering, it’s time we come up with a plan to boost our children’s immune systems and teach them healthy habits that can benefit them for life. When we follow the recommended CDC guidelines, we lessen our exposure. When we get a vaccine, we enhance our body’s immune system to recognize and attack this virus when exposed. In addition, we can give our children an added hedge of protection against any flu, virus, cancer or chronic disease by making sure they get adequate, deep sleep, promote proper hydration, exercise daily, eat a whole food diet, and allow expression of feelings while practicing gratitude. These six tips are inexpensive and easy to do.
Ginny Dent Brant’s award-winning book, Unleash Your God-Given Healing was released after her journey with cancer. The commentary was written by an oncologist. Ginny also wrote Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, and it was endorsed by Chuck Colson. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog at www.ginnybrant.com.