One of the easiest things for a person touched by cancer to address is their diet. Our view is that a Rainbow Diet is the most helpful diet in fighting cancer. And here are 12 foods from it that can each play a role in fighting one or more steps in the multi-step cancer process (writes Chris Woollams).
Remember that ´good nourishment´ is a crucial weapon in the fight against cancer and any illness. Good cancer nutrition can be vital in increasing your personal odds of survival. A 2012 report by the American Cancer Society, covered in Cancer Watch our research centre, stated that there was ´overwhelming evidence´ that diet and exercise could increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning. CANCERactive has consistently maintained this stance since our launch in 2004.
Remember too that bioactive natural compounds are likely to do you a lot more good than synthetic pills! Many such compounds have strong and proven epigenetic benefits.
So here are a few additions to your cancer diet, as a part of your own Integrated Cancer Treatment Programme.
Seeds are full of good oils, whole vitamins in a natural form (like vitamin E) and fibre to strengthen your gut flora. People who consume the highest levels of natural fibre have higher immune systems. For example:
High in zinc and natural vitamin E. Zinc helps vitamin C do its work and accelerates healing time. It is important to a healthy prostate. You need 15 to 25 mgs per day. Five tablespoons of sunflower seeds give you 10 mgs. Sunflower seeds will also provide a little selenium.
Can be mixed with the sunflower seeds in your morning muesli. 5 tablespoons will each provide 20 mgs of vitamin E, the ultimate cancer buster, which inhibits cancer cell growth and protects immune cells from free radicals. Vitamin E boosts your immune system´s fighting abilities. The target is 300-600 mgs and is difficult to achieve without supplements.
The unique lignans can reduce blood pressure and lipid levels. Research shows they can fight inflammation and also cancer! Gamma tocopherol vitamin E reduces inflammation around the body. Both sesame and flax lignans are converted to compounds that can arrest oestrogen cancers.
(Tuna, onions, broccoli and tomatoes contain selenium too.)
Walnuts and almonds are a helpful additions to your diet because they contain good oils and high natural fibre. People who eat nuts every day live longer according to research in Cancer Watch.
According to Harvard research 7-10 helpings a week cuts prostate symptoms by 40% and has an influence on many cancers e.g.: lung; colon; cervix; breast. Lycopene is the prime active ingredient, and 25 – 40 mgs the desired daily dose.
It is also found in strawberries, peppers, carrots and peaches, but one tin of tomato soup has 65 mgs alone. Lycopene helps reduce ´bad´ fat levels in the blood stream and is a strong antioxidant.
This will help your DNA to replicate properly and protect it during radiotherapy.
400 micrograms is a recommended amount. Folate, biotin, choline and inositol, niacin and vitamin B12 are all B vitamins that help in the cancer fight. Niacin has been shown to kill cancer cells. Egg yolk, greens and whole grains are the best sources.
It doesn´t just stop there. Green vegetables and sprouting seeds are a source of sulforaphanes which have strong epigenetic (cancer correcting) benefits and have been shown to aid survival from colorectal cancer.
A diet rich in greens will help alkalyse your body. A slightly alkaline body is important as it improves the performance of your immune system and research shows it stops new metastases.
Like other green cruciferous vegetables (e.g. cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts), broccoli contains fibre which helps eliminate toxins
Moreover, the fibre is rich in galactose, which binds to damaging agents in the intestine, and is one of the favourite foods of good, helpful gut bacteria (as are carrots, apples, chicory and onions).
Broccoli also contains indoles, and especially indole3carbinol which, along with its metabolite DIM, modifies and diminishes aggressive oestrogen action, can modify cellular oestrogen receptor sites, and aids in fighting oestrogen-driven cancers like some breast, prostate, brain and colorectal cancers.
I3C and DIM were also found to have action in non-oestrogen driven cancers as they can also affect the p27 cancer pathway.
Garlic also kills microbes and yeasts – after taking drugs and antibiotics the body is often susceptible to these. Garlic is also anti-inflamatory in the body. It has a number of active ingredients. It contains selenium, tryptophan and sulphur-based active agents that attack cancer cells.
Two or three raw cloves of garlic raw per day will ward off more than vampires.
And cherries, aubergines, plums, red grapes – indeed any purple coloured fruits and vegeatables. They contain anthocyanins (and sometimes also resveratrol). Anthocyanins have been shown to kill cancer cells; Resveratrrol has research supporting its role in fighting certain cancers like blood and brain cancers too.
Lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas, kidney beans and even soya beans are a great source of plant protein. Most importantly they release their carbohydrate slowly because of their high fibre content. They reduce blood glucose.
Pulses also contain isoflavones called phytoestrogens. People get confused about plant oestrogen. The cells of your body have oestrogen receptor sites. When one form of human oestrogen (oestradiol) binds to them, the result is havoc inside your cells. About 40 times less potent is human oestrogen oestrone and about 40 to 50 times less potent still are plant oestrogens. Now which would you rather have sitting on your receptors? Pulses also provide fibre like lignans that can help neutralise free-radicals in the gut and blood stream.
Phytoestrogens bind more weakly than human oestrogen and wash through the body – so you need to eat them daily.