A Healthy You: Enrich Your Diet
by Cindy Gates
Building a strong foundation with diet is absolutely critical to reducing cancer risk and recurrence. The Definitive Guide to Thriving after Cancer by Lise Alschuler will help you make these healthy and needed changes. Food is the vehicle for obtaining the nutrients our bodies need to function. What we eat, how much we eat, and the way we eat dramatically influence the nutrition our cells receive and therefore, how our cells function.
Diet and the Five Key Pathways
Immune System: A goal in reducing the risk of cancer is increasing the activity of central immune system cells such as natural killer and T-cells. Many studies have shown that plant and omega3 rich foods enhance immune activity. Mushrooms are also beneficial as well as yogurt.
Inflammation: Many foods, especially colorful fruits and veggies have been shown to reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.
Hormonal Balance: One way to reduce cancer risk is to reduce the amount of excess hormones such as estrogen. A diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and veggies has been shown to reduce circulating levels of excess estrogen. Mushrooms may help lower estrogen levels.
Insulin Resistance: The 2 key ways to enhance insulin sensitivity and reverse insulin resistance thru diet are to reduce intake of saturated fats and high-carbohydrate goods. Even simple dietary habits like eating more almonds, can impact insulin resistance by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Digestion and Detoxification: Some foods can disrupt healthy digestion and detoxification while many others can enhance it. Whole grains and fermented foods can enhance while processed foods or foods high in pesticides and preservatives can put a strain on the detoxification system. Eating and drinking from plastic containers can also put a strain on your liver and detoxification system. Drinking green tea may help enhance detoxification.
Diet and Cancer
It is estimated that diet is responsible for 30-35% of all deaths from cancer. The higher the nutritional value of our diet, the more optimally our cells will function. Studies show that a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies, limiting alcohol consumption and regular exercise had a 42% lower risk for death from all cancers.
Engage your senses: Make eating an experience. Remember to slow down and truly enjoy the creation of food and the experience of nurturing yourself. As you eat, allow all of your senses to become engaged in the process.
Add more color: Adding color to your diet can kill cancer cells. Choose at least five different colors into your daily diet.
Eat organic: Organic foods are produced without harmful chemicals, pesticides and synthetic substances. These chemicals can put a strain on your detoxification pathway. Emerging data shows that organic fruits and veggies have higher nutritional content and more health promoting phytochemicals. It is important to buy thin-skinned fruits and berries organically as well as meat, eggs and dairy.
Eat more whole foods: Whole foods are unprocessed or minimally processed foods such as organic meats, eggs, and of course fruits and veggies. When you add chemical additives, food dyes and preservatives found in many packaged and processed foods, they increase the inflammatory process and they have potential carcinogens. Refined and processed foods are devoid of nutrients-meaning they provide empty calories.
Spice it up: Spices are a great source of cancer fighting compounds. Some of the best anticancer spices include turmeric, oregano, rosemary, ginger and garlic.
Food has the power to harm and to heal. As you nourish and nurture yourself with food, admire and recognize its loving contributions to your health and your life.