Fighting Cancer With Diet and Nutrition
Alternative cancer doctors have long known that diet and nutrition are absolutely essential when it comes to preventing and reversing cancer. Even the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) now recognize the importance of a good diet. Yet most oncologists today still fail to educate their patients about the vital roles healthy diet and proper nutrition have when it comes to dealing with cancer.
Compounding this problem are the eating habits of the vast majority of Americans today. As a people, we are eating more than we ever did, yet are also suffering from the highest rates of malnutrition in our nation’s history. Simply put, the average meal consumed in America today is overly high in calories and dangerously low in essential nutrients.
Even more alarming is the fact that the segment of our population with the worst diets are people in their 30s or younger, setting the stage for an explosion in chronic diseases, including cancer, that once were very rare until late middle- to old-age.
After many years spent trying to educate the public on what they can do to stay healthy or, if necessary, regain their health, I’ve sadly come to realize that far too many people are simply unwilling to do what they can on their own to improve their health. At the same time, however, I have seen over and over again the miracles that can occur when individuals take responsibility for their health and take action. The information I’m sharing in these blog articles and on my website is dedicated to such people. I hope you are one of them.
If you are, then I know you will heed the dietary advice that follows. By doing so, you can significantly reduce your odds of developing cancer, as well as many other types of degenerative diseases. Let’s start with one of the easiest and most important steps you can take.
Eat Your Vegetables-Lots of Them!
Despite how powerfully effective this single dietary step can be, it remains one that many people have trouble abiding by. Don’t be one of them. Here’s why:
Vegetables are by far the richest source of nutrients than any other food source. In addition, vegetables are also more nutrient-dense than most other foods, meaning they contain more nutrients per mouthful. This is significant for many reasons. First, eating nutrient-dense foods typically result in less over-eating and caloric intake due to the rich supply of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they contain, all of which lead to feelings of satiety, unlike empty-nutrient foods. Second, because of the abundant supply of enzymes vegetables contain, the nutrients they supply to the body are able to be digested and utilized far more quickly, sparing your body from having to expend energy to metabolize them. Third, vegetables are rich in antioxidants, nutrients that help protect cells, tissues, and organs from free-radical damage, as well as damage to cellular DNA (damaged DNA is a prime trigger that causes healthy, normal cells to turn cancerous.) Vegetables are also the richest food source for fiber, which has a protective effect against certain types of cancer, including colon and rectal cancer.
Eating primarily vegetables at your meals will also greatly assist your body in ridding itself of harmful toxins, which also play a big role in the initiation of the cancer process. In addition, vegetables, due to the wealth of nutrients they contain, directly assist your body’s immune system in its anticancer defenses. This includes increasing the activity of your body’s natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are one of your immune system’s prime tools for detecting and eliminating cancer cells and fighting tumors.
Another important health benefit that vegetables provide is reduction of inflammation inside of your body. Chronic, low-grade inflammation is a leading cause of most chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer. In addition, a diet high in vegetables will help to maintain your body’s acid-alkaline balance. In order to thrive, cancer cells need an acidic environment in which to develop and grown. Vegetables help to prevent such acidity by providing your body with buffering alkalis so that acid-alkaline balance is maintained. Restoring and maintaining proper acid-alkaline balance is absolutely essential for preventing and reversing cancer.
To ensure you eat enough vegetables each day, I recommend eating raw or lightly steamed vegetables with every meal. One easy and delicious way to do so is to have a salad with every meal that contains a wide variety of colorful vegetables, along with a serving of a steamed root vegetable such as broccoli.
Here are some other tips you should follow:
- Choose organic vegetables whenever possible. Not only are organically grown foods free of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals, but they also have a higher density of nutrients.
- Eat your vegetables raw or lightly steamed. Other cooking methods destroy vegetables’ enzyme content and greatly diminish their overall nutrient supply.
- Eat a “rainbow” medley of vegetables each day. Consuming an assortment of different colored vegetables helps to ensure that you are receiving a wide variety of nutrients, since different vitamins and minerals are to be found in vegetables based on their color or pigment.
To avoid and help reverse cancer, you need to restrict your intake of carbohydrate foods, including starchy vegetables. This means limiting your intake of breads, pastas, potatoes, and especially “simple carbohydrates,” such as bagels, muffins, bleached flour, white rice, most cereals, and so forth. Although you require a certain amount of carbohydrates each day to help your body meet its energy needs, too much carbohydrate food intake can prove to be unhealthy for a number of reasons.
First, carbohydrates contain glucose and other sugars. Such sugars act as fuel for cancer cells. Therefore, the more carbohydrate foods you eat, the better able cancers are to feed and grow.
Most carbohydrate foods also tend rank high on the glycemic index, a scale used by nutritionists to determine how likely a food is to cause a spike in insulin levels. High- glycemic foods cause the most severe insulin spikes, leading to a greater likelihood of inflammation developing inside your body, as well as a lack of energy. Insulin spikes have also been shown to promote tumor growth. Low-glycemic foods, by contrast, do not result in either of these unhealthy effects.
In place of high-glycemic carbohydrate foods such as breads, pasta, etc, substitute whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur, as well as legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, green beans, and peas.
Eat More Berries
Over the last decade or so, berries have emerged as a class of “super food” due to the many health benefits they provide, including their anticancer benefits. Various foods in the berry family, especially blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, have been shown to be just as effective as new antiangioneic cancer drugs, without any of the drugs side effects.
Angiogenesis is the scientific term used to describe the process cancer cells and tumors use to literally grow their own network of blood vessels from which they derive their “food” in the form of glucose and other sugars. By shutting down this network of blood vessels, or preventing them from forming in the first place, cancer specialists in both the conventional and alternative cancer field are better able to prevent and reverse cancer. A variety of substances are able to accomplish this task to various degrees. Such substances are called antiangiogenic.
While the pharmaceutical industry is now increasing its research into the development of antiangiogenic drugs, researchers have discovered that various compounds in berries, such as ellagic acid, already offer the same type of anticancer benefits. In fact, ellagic acid from berries has been shown to inhibit two of the primary mechanisms that stimulate the growth of blood vessels. This points out another advantage that berries have over antiangiogenic drugs. Unlike the drugs, which typically only have one mechanism of action, ellagic acid and other anticancer compounds found in berries have multiple mechanisms of action. In addition, they have also been shown to increase cellular detoxification, while cancer drugs are highly toxic and immunosuppressive.
As with other foods, choose organic berries whenever possible.
Drink Green Tea
Instead of coffee, try to drink at least 2-3 cups of organic green tea each day. Research has shown that green tea is a powerful anticancer beverage because it is rich in a class of nutrients known as catechins. The catechins green tea contain help prevent the invasion of healthy tissues by cancer cells and other foreign cells, such as from bacteria or viruses. Catechins also have potent antiagiongenic properties.
Green tea also acts as a detoxifying agent in the body, especially with regard to its ability to activate mechanisms in the liver that eliminate cancerous toxins.
These are only a few of the important ways that you can use diet to increase your resistance to cancer. I will share other dietary tips with you in future articles on my blog. I’ve selected these tips first because of how effective they are.
Now that you know them, please start to implement them in your daily life.
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