Health Topics Cancer
Cancer is probably the most feared of all health conditions and for good reason. If you have not yourself had a cancer diagnosis or scare, you’ve likely have a family member or friend who has. There are hundreds of types of cancers that can affect any part of the body. But all cancers require the same basic elements in order to form and grow:
- A weakened, ineffective immune system
- A blood supply
A weakened immune system allows for the initial mutation of cancer to occur, leading to the abnormal cells by enabling those abnormal, mutated cells to escape detection and destruction. The tumor then begins to grow and spread. Once it’s dodged the immune system, it needs to create and develop its own blood supply in order to acquire nutrients like glucose, oxygen and hormones. This is called angiogenesis and without it, cancer will wither and die.
Phytonutrients are key to fighting cancer. These plant compounds combat cancer by eliminating oxidative damage in cells, deactivating cancer-causing agents and improving the power of the immune system. And phytonutrients are only found in plants.
That’s why the primary treatment of cancer should be adopting a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet. Standard treatments like chemotherapy and radiation should be initiated only in conjunction with plant-based nutritional therapy.
Although all phytonutrients boost immune function with their anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting properties, there are specific phytonutrients that have been shown to be particularly effective in fighting cancer. I call it PHYTOCHEMOTHERAPY, and it should be a part of every treatment plan.
Cruciferous vegetables like collard greens, kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower are the most powerful anticancer foods that exist. When blended or juice (or even chewed really well) they are converted into ITCs, or isothiocyanates, which remove cancer-causing agents and prevent angiogenesis.
Mushrooms, often overlooked as powerful disease-preventing foods, contain unique chemical compounds that inhibit the growth of abnormal cells and tumor growth, thereby halting angiogenesis. Part of that uniqueness in mushrooms is the natural aromatase inhibitors they contain. This prevents estrogen from stimulating breast tissue which is vital in breast cancer treatment.
Turmeric is an Indian spice that is one of the most widely-studied food components for cancer treatment and prevention. Curcumin is the phytonutrient in turmeric that’s been found to not only have chemopreventive effects – meaning it prevents the initial trigger of mutations, but it also prevents the growth of tumor cells once cancer is established.
Berries and their unprocessed juices contain a host of cancer-fighting phytonutrient compounds, including those that halt and prevent angiogenesis.
Flaxseed is a game changer when it comes to fighting cancer. Flaxseed contains the phytonutrient lignans, which is particularly vital in preventing and halting the growth of hormone responsive cancers such as breast and prostate cancers. In the breast, lignans bind to estrogen receptors and interferes with how hormones promote cancer growth in breast tissue. Studies have also shown that when women with breast cancer, or men with prostate cancer, are given daily flaxseed, there is reduced tumor growth and increased survival.
Here are some fast and easy examples phytonutrient-rich recipes for anticancer plant-based nutrition therapy.
Frozen Berry Breakfast Smoothie
- ½ cup, frozen blackberries
- ½ cup, frozen blueberries
- ½ cup, frozen strawberries
- 1 small, frozen banana
- 1 cup, hemp coconut, soy or almond milk
- 1 tbsp, ground flaxseed
- 1 handful, spinach
- 1 tbsp, ground mushroom powder
Combine all the ingredients and blend in a NutriBullet, Vitamix or similar blender. Enjoy!
- 6 oz. kale juice
- 6 oz. collard greens juice
- 1 cucumber
- 1 regular apple
- 1/2 inch, ginger root
- 1 squeeze, lemon
Combine all ingredients and juice with a cold press juicer *With this recipe, you can substitute cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, arugula, red cabbage or bok choy. It’s also optimal that fresh juice be made with a cold press, or masticating, juicer. These juicers do not use a blade or produce heat during the juicing process.
Cancer Blaster Salad
- 1 cup, raw spinach
- 1 cup, raw broccoli
- 1 cup, raw cauliflower
- ½ cup, sautéed mushrooms
- 1 splash, lemon
- 1 splash, balsamic vinegar
- Crushed red pepper and garlic salt, to taste
Mix it all together in a bowl and enjoy!
- 2 cups, hemp, coconut or almond milk
- 1 tbsp, grated, fresh turmeric (or ½ tsp, dried turmeric)
- ½ tsp, black pepper, which allows the body to absorb the turmeric
- 1 dash, ground cinnamon
- 1 dash, honey, if needed
Combine ingredients in a cup and give it a stir! Great for a bedtime anticancer drink!
Summing It Up
Whole Food Plant-Based Diets have been proven to prevent and reverse cancer. These are diets rich with vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains and legumes.
Phytochemotherapy is adding those phytonutrient-rich foods with specific tumor-fighting properties and incorporating those into your diet every day.
The elimination of cancer-promoting foods must be severely reduced or eliminated completely. Those are those processed foods, fried foods, processed sugars, processed oils and animal products.