Cancer came back into my life twice in order for me to understand something, and I guess I still wasn't getting it. And my husband wasn't getting it, either.~Mariel Hemingway
Cancer cells take up more sugar than any other cells in the body. Consuming sugar doesn't make cancer grow faster, but cancer does feed on glucose as do all tissues that use a lot of energy.
Being predisposed to cancer, we should consider reducing or eliminating refined sugar from the diet in order to deter cancer as well as avoid other disease such as diabetes, etc. The same is true to high carbohydrate foods, breads, snacks, etc., which revert to sugar in the body. Studies indicate an impaired glucose metabolism may contribute to pancreatic cancer. Its much healthier we break our dependence upon sugars and as one very astute Clinician has suggested, "Control the sweet tooth and keep sugar use to a minimum."
Dark chocolate has been considered to be good for us and a deterrent against cancer! The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidant it contains However caution is recommended. Only the dark chocolates are considered healthy and balance is the key. A good practice is indulgence in moderation...
Limit or eliminate red meats. (The World Cancer Research Fund recommends no more than 18 ounces per week.) Some studies indicate a reduction of 50% red meat may reduce cancer as much as 50%. Recommended individual meat portions are the size of a deck of cards (about three ounces.) Eating meat sparingly as an ingredient and taking it from the center of the plate, rather than as an entree, such as in a beef stroganoff or pastas or soups and stews can help reduce eating meat, painlessly. We seek organic beef from animals which graze, rather than are fed with filler foods such as corn, etc. Going vegetarian (pastas, rice dishes, vegetable casseroles, etc., several times a week can make an enormous difference and decrease in risk.
Colorful vegetables are not only pretty but a great addition to an anti-cancer diet. For maximum effectiveness, briefly cook broccoli, cauliflower and other high fiber vegetables rather than boiling. Prepare beans, peas, legumes, romaine lettuce, carrots, yams, pumpkins, squash, swiss chard, greens, parsley, celery, and shitake and other Asian mushrooms.
Omega 3's are healthy and include salmon, herring, mackerel and other fatty fish as well as walnuts, canola oil, broccoli, cantaloupe, kidney beans, spinach, grape leaves, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and flax seed. These are essential for us to consume on a daily basis.
Rather than eating potatoes as a staple, consider substituting them with yams, sweet potatoes and brown rice more often than not. Potatoes are fine on occasion but all too often we eat them as french fries, or with butter or fatty sauces upon them. Recent studies have evidenced the preparation of the potato can be a problem for those at high risk for cancers and snacks, particularly chips, are particularly a problem. Moderation and balance are key words in respect to use of potatoes in the diet.
Further, you may wish to consider substituting multi-grain and sourdough breads for white bread and purchase range fed chicken and use butter instead of margarine. A recent study has determined dairy products do not put individuals at high risk for cancers, however there is still concern about the fat content within dairy products perhaps posing a risk.
Having Lynch syndrome and a predisposition to cancer, a low fat diet is essential. Again, this is an item one may wish to use with moderation. Its been recommended to avoid excess salt and saturated fats. Ir has been long recommended to cook with extra virgin olive oils and canola oils instead of corn oils.
Green tea, dark teas and coffee has been greatly studied and it has been found all of these have a similar set of interesting and possibly useful anti-cancer compounds in them. A study by Texas A&M conducted on the consumption of coffee indicates a compound known as trigonelline may reduce the risk of contracting colon cancer. However, there may be a dark side to it for some individuals. Researchers advise patients facing problems with estrogen dominance and other estrogen related conditions such as breast cancer may wish to avoid consuming the compound as it may increase their levels. Finally, just recently, a study from Finland of Finns appears contradictory to the study by Texas A&M indicating heavy coffee comsumption indicates no benefit for the Finns, whatsoever, from drinking coffee.
Strongly consider avoiding processed and prepared foods. Afterall, it only takes about two minutes more to prepare homemade salad dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, etc., and they taste so much better without the high amounts of sodium, the chemicals and the preservatives prepared items have. Recipes for homemade preparation of condiments are abundant on the internet.
Finally, a bit of diversity is always good for an open mind, open heart and cancer free life. Incorporate evening meals, each week, to include basic Mediterranean foods, Asian foods, food from India, seafood and simply homemade soups and salads. Experiencing diversity with foods is not only fun and wonderfully tasty, but could be life changing and life saving.
The internet is full of tips on how to protect one's self from cancer however before taking anything, be sure and discuss it with your physician to make certain it will not harm you or interfere with your treatment. Don't let that supplement sales person sell you anything until it is discussed with your doctor.
Studies have recently indicated the sun is great for us as a major contributor of Vitamin D within our body! A new study released January of 2010 indicated of 1248 patients, those with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had a 40% lessor risk of contracting cancer than those with lessor levels. Of course, more studies need to be completed. In respect to taking Vitamin D supplements, long termed adverse effects are not known if Vitamin D taken in high doses. However, it does appear Vitamin D, obtained from foods and the sun, is extremely good for us and may be a deterrent against cancer. Grab your sun screen and head outside every day to take in a few rays! However, while Vitamin D is helpful in alleviating some cancers, a recent study indicates it does little for lessor known cancers. So, sunshine may help alleviate colon cancer, however may do little for other cancers. One thing we do know...it does lift spirits and makes the day brighter!
Over the years, there's been a little secret few individuals have known about--a product called Sun's Soup, made of vegetables which may inhibit cancer growth. Studies have and are being conducted of it and its properties and it has been found to slow the growth of cancer tumors in mice. It may be something to think about after it has been closely studied.
We need to be cautious with what we read in "studies," taking into consideration the population studied, including lifestyles, environment, ethnic diversity and many other differences between culture and societies. Studies are simply a silhouette of conditions which exist in a specific place, at a specific time, with a specific group of people. A good place to find out if that food or supplement is good for us, check with the NIH first, who studies not only top technological treatments but natural treatments, foods and claims of cancer deterents. They have a great search engine, where you can simply put in the item and read the recent U.S. and internationally collaborated governmental research on it.
Bottom line is we know fresh foods are good for us...we know balance and moderation with eating, as well as in life, is important. If it looks healthy, tastes healthy and feels healthy...its probably healthy for us.
With gratitude to Dr. John Potter of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, for his very patient and lifesaving lessons in the importance of diet and exercise, "anti-cancer style" and MD Anderson Cancer Center for their terrific tips!