October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and next month we have the “Movember” – Prostate Cancer Awareness campaign. For this reason, I am joining in spreading the awareness with my post of how we can prevent cancer with a diet and lifestyle.
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, which develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. The change is called a mutation. Old cells do not die and cells grow out of control, forming new abnormal cells.
Mutations can happen by chance when a cell is dividing. They can also be caused by the processes of life inside the cell. Or they can be caused by things coming from outside the body, such as poor diet, exposure to environmental toxins, genetics, viruses or infections, high-stress levels, poor digestion and nutrient absorption, and lack of physical activity. And some people can inherit faults in particular genes that make them more likely to develop cancer.
Studies suggest that 30 percent to 40 percent of all kinds of cancer can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and dietary measures!
Cleaning up your diet and introducing powerful cancer-fighting food may bring a significant protection against cancer.
Foods that help the prevent cancer
Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula salad, watercress mustard greens, etc. contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, inactivate carcinogens, help reprogram cancer cells to die off, and prevent tumor formation and metastasis.
Cruciferous vegetables are known to be powerful cancer killers and some of the best vitamin C foods widely available. Many are rich in glutathione, known as the body’s “master antioxidant” since it has high free-radical-scavenging abilities. Nearly all members of the brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage are nutrient-dense sources of a family of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that are linked to cancer prevention. In addition to isothiocyanates, cruciferous veggies also contain sulforaphane and indoles — two types of strong antioxidants and stimulators of detoxifying enzymes that protect the structure of DNA.
Berries are the top high-antioxidant foods in the world. Blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, goji berries, Camu Camu, and blackberries are easy to find and use in numerous types of recipes — which is good news considering they supply vitamin C, vitamin A and gallic acid, a powerful antifungal/antiviral agent that increases immunity.
Derivatives of vitamin A found in many citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, berries, pumpkin, squashes and other plant foods. One of the most researched is beta-carotene, an essential nutrient for immune functioning; detoxification; liver health; and fighting cancers of the skin, eyes, and organs.
Turmeric, which contains the active ingredient curcumin, has been shown to decrease tumor size and fight colon and breast cancer. Along with easy-to-use black pepper, turmeric absorption is enhanced and better able to fight inflammation.
Additionally, other herbs that act as immune system boosters include ginger, raw garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil and parsley — which can easily be used in many recipes, juices, dressings, and smoothies.
Organic meat with rich sources of selenium, zinc and B vitamins helps purify the blood; produce the bile needed to digest fats; balance hormones naturally; and store essential vitamins, minerals, and iron. These mineral-rich foods can help counteract the effects of alcohol, prescription drugs, hormone disruptions, high triglyceride levels, low potassium, obesity and viral infections.
Cultured dairy products, like raw milk, kefir, yogurt are a rich source of “good bacteria” probiotics, which are microorganisms that promote a natural bacterial balance in your intestinal microflora and help increase immunity. Over 80 percent of your immune system is housed in your gut, so it’s no surprise that probiotic foods and supplementation can stop tumor growth and help cells renew.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds are two of the most nutrient-dense seeds in the world. They provide fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a range of important minerals. Hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also beneficial and full of healthy fatty acids, as are walnuts, brazil nuts, and almonds. Their health benefits and are best sprouted and can be used easily in smoothies, baked goods and with yogurt. Aim for two tablespoons daily.
Refined and rancid fats create problems throughout your entire body, leading to lower immune function, cell congestion and inflammation that kicks off disease. Replace refined vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils and trans fats with quality oils, including flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, cod oil and coconut oil. These nourish your gut and promote better immune function, help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, plus flaxseed and cod liver oil contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that can help energize your cells.
Reishi, Cordyceps, and maitake, in particular, can improve immune function and cell regeneration. Look for them in capsule or tincture form, and cook with them whole whenever possible too.
Wild and especially small fish, including salmon, mackerel, and sardines are anti-inflammatory omega-3 foods that are correlated with better brain, hormonal and nervous system health. Omega-3 fatty acids exert anti-inflammatory effects, and therefore recent studies have connected them to cancer prevention and natural enhancement of antitumor therapies. Evidence suggests a role for omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in cancer prevention and reducing symptoms of treatments like chemotherapy.
Lifestyle factors are also playing a huge role in cancer prevention and they also can be improved with a few simple but mighty changes.
Exposure to environmental toxins can be reduced by switching our conventional beauty and cleaning products to natural ones. Those can be found in health stores and also you can make those yourself. Find out more from my blog post “DIY Natural Beauty Products” and “DIY Cleaning Products”. Next step is choosing organic food products, as the nonorganic is full of pesticides, heavy metals, antibiotics, preservatives etc. which are toxins to our body. Another thing is avoiding drugs and choosing the natural treatment whenever you can and avoiding pollution as much as you can.
A High-stress level can be reduced by mindfulness, stress relieving techniques like meditation, gratitude, earning, yoga or even walk in nature, reading a book or anything else what is relaxing you. Get an adequate amount of sleep, as lack of sleep equals increased production of a stress hormone cortisol, the same like caffeine does.
Lack of physical activity is a big issue for many people who do not realize that any physical activity is better than none. You do not have to go to the gym 5 times a week to be active. Simple things like walking the stairs instead of the lift, step out the bus/train a stop earlier and walk the remaining distance, go for a walk during your lunch break instead of seating down in the canteen, go play with your kids outside, do some gardening, basically anything that will get you moving.
The remaining factors from possible cancer cause list, like viruses or infections, poor digestion, and nutrient absorption need to be dealt under a supervision of Nutritional Therapist or Nutritionists. Nutritional Therapy practitioners will be able to provide an appropriate functional testing and they will work with you on a personalized healing protocol.
Contact us for a personalized Cancer Prevention Nutrition Plan