A healthy diet is one of the most important factors that can help in the prevention of cancer. The foods we eat have the potential to boost the immune system, fight cancer at a cellular level and help the body detoxify. Other foods contain potentially carcinogenic effects for the body and must be avoided. By reading the article you will discover the 5 ways by which your diet can prevent cancer.
1. Immune System
Diet boosts the immune system making it more capable to identify and kill cancer cells. A good example of this is the medicinal mushroom Reishi (Ganoderma Ludicum). Reishi mushrooms are strong immune system modulators. They increase the activity of natural killer cells in the body – our tough soldiers that fight invaders and pathogens. By boosting the immune system Reishi mushrooms selectively make cancer cells die and help prevent secondary infections in vulnerable cancer patients.
2. Anticancer foods
Every day, at every meal, we can choose foods that will defend our bodies against cancer. A great number of naturally occurring bioactive compounds found in fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices have proven to be very potent cancer fighters. The evidence clearly shows that a carefully planned diet can rebalance the body’s physiology and reverse the conditions that nurture cancer cells. A few examples of the anticancer power of foods are:
- Berries and pomegranates. They are rich in ellagic acid, a natural compound found to kill cancer cells in lab studies.
- Broccoli. The best known source of sulforaphane, a natural substance found to destroy many types of cancer cells by inducing their death and to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body.
3. Add foods that detoxify
The body has several detox pathways that need to work in balance in order to achieve optimum detoxification. This is of crucial importance as chemotherapy itself has very toxic effects to the healthy cells of the body. To ensure optimum detoxification cancer patients should:
- Use Milk Thistle, a plant used by herbalists for many centuries to treat various liver disorders. It stimulates the two main detoxification pathways of the liver and it can be useful for people undergoing chemotherapy or taking other toxic medication.
- Increase the intake of garlic oil, rosemary, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli as they are all known to increase the activity of phase II enzymes in the liver and support better detoxification.
- Ensure regular bowel movements. Constipation must be avoided, as the large bowel is the main exit route for toxins. Consider using chia seeds, linseeds, a good probiotic supplement, kefir, plain live yogurt, a good supply of fiber and fluids.
4. Avoidance of carcinogenic foods / substances
Under certain circumstances cancer cells grow faster. They also travel through the body, create new blood vessels and metastasize more efficiently. Many of these steps are affected greatly by the foods we eat. The factors below are especially important and were found by research to be carcinogenic:
- High salt diets
- High sugar diets related to insulin resistance
- Substances caused by cooking at high temperatures and when meat is exposed to smoke
- Processed meat consumption
- Diets linked to inflammation such as a high intake of omega 6 fatty acids
- Certain food additives
- High levels of environmental toxicity such as BPA in plastics and arsenic in rice products
5. Even when doing chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, certain foods protect healthy cells
According to the needs of each patient, there is a big list of dietary phytochemical agents to use along with chemotherapy or radiation.
- Ginger can enhance the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy while at the same time reducing some serious side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
- Quercetin found in onions, apples, berries and tea protects the kidneys from the potentially harmful effects of conventional treatment.
- Flavanoids found in herbs such as oregano and curcumin protect the brain from damage caused by the toxic drugs used in chemotherapy.
- Medicinal mushrooms like pleurotous, Portobello and ganoderma also protect the healthy cells in the body while doing chemotherapy.
The research is mounting and every health conscious person knows that diet is the cornerstone of cancer prevention and treatment.
So, why wait any longer? Now is the time to learn more about how changing your diet can help you prevent or treat cancer.
Take home message?
I hope my article inspires you to spread the word on how optimum nutrition can be life changing and keeping you and loved ones cancer free.
- If you want to prevent cancer look no further than your plate, and
- If you know of someone who faces a cancer diagnosis, don’t let them believe the old and dangerous myth that diet is not important. Encourage them to see a specialist on the role of diet on cancer treatment and prevention.
- If you want to learn more about cancer prevention and treatment you can...
1. National Cancer Institute accessed on: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics
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3. Biotech. 2012;2(1):1-15. doi:10.1007/s13205-011-0036-2. 5 Katrin Sak, “Chemotherapy and Dietary Phytochemical Agents,” Chemotherapy Research and Practice, vol. 2012, Article ID 282570, 11 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/282570 6 http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/milk-thistle-and-liver-cancer