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Oct 16

Cancer Prevention

Dermatologist examines a moleCancer is always a scary term.  It is estimated that one third to one half of all people will contract cancer.  Though strides are being made, cancer still remains a common and often deadly disease.  Conventional medicine is making some progress but for the most part conventional cancer treatment remains a difficult task.

How do non-conventional treatments fare?   The statistics for non conventional treatment are difficult to follow, because patients usually turn to nutritional and natural therapies after conventional treatments have failed.  By this time their bodies are ravaged by disease as well as chemotherapy and radiation.  There are many reported cases of those given up for dead who undertook non traditional therapies and have gone on to live for decades.

We have some options.  Do we ignore good health practices and healthy diet until we get cancer?  Or do we get started now to help prevent cancer from taking hold in our bodies?  Many cancer deaths are attributed to the treatment rather than the disease.  Both chemotherapy and radiation damage healthy cells in the process of destroying the target cancer cells.  Surgery can turn cancer cells loose in the body where they can set up shop in healthy organs and areas.

Cancer prevention through healthy lifestyle encompasses many facets of our lives.  Included in this is diet, positive thinking, physical activity and good personal relationships.

Our bodies are always making cancer cells but for the most part we have the ability to destroy these cells before they become disease.  If you create a good immune system, your chances of killing cancer cells and preventing the disease are optimal.

What are some simple ways to reduce your likelihood of contracting cancer?

  • Consume more foods containing sulforaphane. While this sounds complicated, it merely means:  eat more broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale.  Cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli also contain indole-3-carbinol that can convert cancer inducing estrogen to a less dangerous form that can offer more protection from cancer.  If you say “But I hate broccoli and cauliflower and cabbage!”, there are these substances available in pill form.

  • Eat an alkalizing diet. (cherries, asparagus, red wine, celery, tomatoes, and expecially raisins.)

  • Switch to raw omega 3 oils like hemp seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds. When oils are heated they produce cancer causing free radicals.  Minimize the use of oils and get them from the above sources or from whole raw foods.

  • Consume foods high in ellagic acid. Ellagic acid halts the replication of cancer cells.  It can be found in walnuts, raspberries, grapes,  pomegranates.

  • Restrict your intake of sugar. Eliminating all types of refined sugar as cancer is known to thrive on sugar..

  • Get plenty of sunshine. Your body makes vitamin D from sunshine on your skin.  If you prefer to stay out of the sun, take a vitamin D supplement.  Have your vitamin D levels checked regularly.

  • Keep your cholesterol at a safe level. Cholesterol in high levels can trigger estrogens that can contribute to cancer.

  • Don’t eat refined foods. Most contain preservatives and other cancer causing chemicals.

  • Use “green” cleaning products. Most commercial cleaning products contain dangerous cancer causing substances.

  • Eat lots of green leafy vegetables. These contain protective anti cancer substances.

  • Get lots of vitamin C. Vitamin C has powerful anticancer properties.  Foods like berries, citrus fruits and sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamin C.

  • Eat carrots. They have many cancer prevention properties.

  • Keep your colon clean. Consume adequate fiber and fluids to keep things moving.

  • Consume garlic. The allium compounds found in garlic enhance the immune system and assist in the destruction of developing tumors.  If you don’t care for garlic, it is readily available in capsule form.

  • Eat nuts. Brazil nuts in particular are high in selenium a cancer preventing substance.  Other nuts contain antioxidant properties as well.

  • Use herbs and spices to season your food. Rosemary, basil, oregano, turmeric, cumin  among others, provide anti cancer effects.

  • Eat tomatoes. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene which help to quench free radicals.

  • Consume “sea vegetables”. They contain substances that help your body to flush metals and toxins.  They are often found in health food stores as kelp powder.

  • Drink green tea. Green tea is rich in polyphenols that inhibit cancer cells.

  • Eat raw papaya and pineapple. These contain enzymes that may stop cancer growth.

  • Consume flax and sesame seeds. They contain antioxidants called lignans that have been shown to stop cancer growth.

  • Eat organic. While organic foods are a bit more expensive, it is worth the price to not ingest chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides which can be very damaging to our bodies.

  • Eat a minimum of animal based foods. (ie: beef, pork, chicken, fish , eggs and dairy.

  • Practice relaxation techniques. Take a yoga class.  Get a massage.

  • Breath deeply. (Cancer does not like an oxygen rich environment)

Engage with the people in your life.  Take time to enjoy your family and friends.

While the food suggestions seem overwhelming, there are ways to accomplish consuming many of these by making smoothies.  For instance, invest in a high power blending appliance.  Combine leafy greens, nuts, seeds, berries, pineapple, sprouts, ginger and anything and anything else you like.  Add water. The blender will turn these ingredients into an easily ingested and tasty smoothie.  Things to remember are to consume raw, non animal foods that are rich in colors.  Making healthful changes in your diet is not easy but the rewards are well worth the effort.