Today’s Headlines: Why Eating Canned Vegetables Could Be Good For You, How Exercise Can Help Your Immune System, and Reasons Environments and Bad Habits Can Increase Your Risk of Cancer

People who eat canned fruits and veggies have a healthier diet than those that do not eat vegetables at all. A new study funded by the Canned Food Alliance aimed to discover if there were any health benefits of eating canned vegetables. “About 11% of these individuals ate canned vegetables and fruits on any given day. Overall, these people tended to consume higher amounts of certain nutrients as well as more calories, sugar and fat…” The study advised to look for low-sodium and low-sugar canned goods in order to eliminate excess calories, sugar, and fat upon consumption. While the study did not say that canned fruits and vegetables were better or worse than fresh ones, it did stress that the important takeaway is to eat fruit and veggies no matter what packaging they come in. (Fox)

Exercising may be able to help you fight a cold more efficiently. A recent study has shown that frequent exercise could be the key to building up a healthier immune system. “…our immune system reacts to invading microbes through a variety of cells. Some of these cells don’t directly combat the infection, but instead promote the development of inflammation…Scientists have long tried to determine why inflammation sometimes grows rampant in the body. One thing they’ve noticed is that fat cells are particularly adept at producing substances that promote inflammation…[which] can lead to…a weaker overall immune response to an infection or illness.” Regular exercise promotes positive inflammation in the body—through the healing and growth of muscles—and decreases the likelihood of excessive negative inflammation that can lead to colds, flus, and other infections. (NY Times)

Gene mutations leading to cancer could be a result of your lifestyle more than your genetic makeup. A new cancer study has tried to disprove the “bad luck” cancer theory—that you get cancer as a result of bad luck or inevitable family history and there are no concrete ways to identify other potential causes. But this study aimed to prove other causes, explaining that cancer is “…caused either by intrinsic factors that are part of the innate way the body operates, such as the risk of mutations occurring every time a cell divides, or extrinsic factors such as smoking, UV radiation and many others that have not been identified…the results consistently suggested 70-90% of the risk was due to extrinsic factors.” While a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle overall does not guarantee that you will never be diagnosed with cancer, it does significantly improve your chances. (BBC)