Whether your family is fighting disease or you’re looking for guidance and inspiration to keep your family in optimal health, here are insights on the value of eating an “anti-cancer” diet…
1. A HEALTHY DIET IS THE FOUNDATION FOR SURVIVING AND THRIVING
Our daily diets create an overall environment in our bodies. Through diet, we can make our bodily environment more or less favorable to cancer, and more or less favorable to a healthy recovery from cancer treatment.
No diet has ever been shown to completely cure or prevent cancer. But many high-profile, peer-reviewed studies show that the right dietary strategies lead to lower cancer rates, better quality of life while in cancer treatment and a longer survival time.
Most researchers believe that an overall healthy diet works on so many different parts of the body and in so many different ways, that it is best to talk about creating a healthy overall bodily environment, rather than talking about how a diet can have a single, specific effect.
2. THE RIGHT NUTRIENTS CAN BOOST OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM’S COMPETENCE
While there are sometimes good reasons to depress the body’s immune system (as in bone marrow transplants), the immune system plays a key role in healing from cancer. As a group of researchers stated in a recent study: The strength of the immune system is “the strongest prognostic factor for recurrence and overall survival.”
The immune system is very complex and not completely understood, but we do know that diet influences its effectiveness. A diet rich in plant-based whole foods and minimal in refined carbohydrates and non-organic meat has been shown to promote a healthy immune system.
3. CANCER IS PROMOTED BY INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY.MANY FOODS ARE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response to damage (shocks, cuts, burns, poisons, infections, etc.). It is now widely accepted that inflammation plays a large role in cancer growth, “including initiation, promotion, malignant conversion, invasion, and metastasis.”
Diet can affect inflammation in the body. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, and non-organic meat can contribute to inflammation.
Specific whole foods are anti-inflammatory: cold-water fish (wild salmon, cod, halibut, haddock, chunk light tuna), grass-fed beef, organic omega-3 eggs, olive oil, avocados, chia seeds, blueberries, sugar-free chocolate. Specific plant extracts are strongly anti-inflammatory: turmeric (curcumin), green tea extract, quercetin, and resveratrol.
4. TUMORS NEED BLOOD VESSELS. SOME FOODS HELP INHIBIT THEIR QUICK GROWTH
Everyone has cancer cells. But they don’t become tumors if they don’t have a blood supply.
There are a wide array of whole foods that have anti-angiogenic properties: apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, red grapes, oranges, tomatoes, celery, garlic, leeks and kale. And there are anti-angiogenic plant-based extracts: turmeric (curcumin), selenium (high levels in Brazil nuts), green tea extract, vitamin D, and resveratrol.
5. ONCOLOGISTS DON’T TREAT LATE EFFECTS. PROPER NUTRITION CAN HELP
Diabetes and malnutrition are major risk factors for children after cancer treatment. If children start on a healthy diet while in treatment, their risks will likely decrease. If our goal as parents is for our children to not only survive, but thrive, nutrition must become a major part of their treatment.