Saturday, March 19, 2005

How does diet help prevent cancer?

I believe in the value of overall good nutrition and that the careful use of supplements provides the most benefit in fighting cancer.

Cancer starts with a single cell that gets out of control. Cancer promoters, called carcinogens, include viruses and chemicals, as well as lifestyle and environmental factors such as air pollution, smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet. No single food or nutrient causes or prevents cancer. However, there are steps that will help reduce your risk for cancer.

Cancer fighting requires a plant-based diet.

Vegetables and fruits have a complex composition with a great many vitamins, minerals, fibers and other beneficial substances. Phytochemicals are plant chemicals that offer protection from cancer. Phytochemicals are substances that plants naturally produce to protect themselves against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Some of these naturally occurring substances are cartenoids, flavonoids, indoles, isoflavones and protease inhibitors. Many different plant foods supply different kinds of protection.

Some of the primary phytochemicals are: Allyl sulfides found in onions and garlic. Ellagic acid found in strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, walnuts and pecans. Flavonoids found in green tea, citrus fruit and red grapes. Lycopene found in tomatoes, tomato products and red grapefruit. Phytoestrogens found in soybeans and grains. Resveratrol found in peanuts.

Free radicals are the by-products of cells burning oxygen. Free radicals damage body cells and tissues, as well as DNA, which is your body's master plan for reproducing cells.

Antioxidant vitamins and selenium, a mineral, are effective in neutralizing free radicals. The antioxidant vitamins are Vitamin A, E and C.

Beta-carotene turns into Vitamin A in the body. This is supplied by dark green and deep orange fruits and vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, bok choy, broccoli, spinach and vegetable juices.

Vitamin C is contained in oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, red bell pepper, broccoli and brussel sprouts.

Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and vegetable oils.

Selenium is present in seafood, lean meats and whole grains.

Your diet is an important part of your defense against cancer. Eating the right kinds of food, everyday, can help you feel better and stay stronger.

Friday, March 11, 2005


My wife Patty is a breast cancer survivor. After a successful modified radical mastectomy operation, we began an extensive search for a viable plan to minimize the chance of recurrence. The two viable options where preventative drug therapy such as Tamoxifen or traditional holistic preventative nutrition therapy. We learned that drug therapy research indicated that drug therapy would decrease the chance of cancer recurrence by about 10%, but carried some serious additional health risks. On the other hand traditional holistic preventative nutrition therapy could offer at least as good results with the advantage of no additional health risks.

It is important to note that preventative drug therapy only requires that you take a pill or two each day whereas nutrition therapy requires a radical change in diet for most people that really results in a change in life style. Something many people find very difficult to do. Millions of people are overweight testifying to the difficult of maintaining a healthful diet.

Should you be a cancer patient, cancer survivor or person seeking an aggressive cancer fighting diet that may offer effective cancer prevention and you believe you have the self-discipline to stick to a very rigid diet; this plan could be what you are looking for.

It is important to understand that this is an everyday diet. Every item listed, unless otherwise noted, should be eaten in the quantities indicated every day.

I will start with what you must completely eliminate.

No tobacco
No trans fat (hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated oils)
No white flower
No white sugar
No Alcohol

Here is what you should eat every day:


½ cup Beta-carotene rich vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, yam, winter squash)
1 cup Dark Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, or any except iceberg lettuce)
½ cup Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, bok choy)
½ cup Each of any two vegetables (mushrooms, celery, cabbage)


½ cup Lycopene rich (cooked tomato, red grapefruit, watermelon)
½ cup Citrus fruit (orange, orange juice)
½ cup Berry fruit (blueberries are good)
½ cup Any fruit or ¼ cup dried fruit.


1 ½ cups Whole grain
½ cup Beans
4 cups Green tea
1 tablespoon Ground flaxseed
1 cup of 2% low fat milk
½ cup Fermented soy product (miso, tempeh)
1 serving Fatty fish 2 times a week

This is a high fiber diet so you should drink 4 to 6 glasses of water per day.

General suggestions-

Season with spices and herbs, not salt.
Cook with olive or canola oil.
Very little red meat (twice a month)
Cut down on salt
Try to avoid processed foods and chemical rich foods such as soda.
Essiac tea is an excellent anti-oxidant cancer fighter.
Anti-oxidant vitamin supplements are useful.
Exercise and stress reduction is useful for general good health.

This diet is high in natural anti-oxidants designed to prevent free radicals. It is without a doubt a diet very different from the diet of most Americans. It will require a big change for most people. The rewards of this diet are major but so is the discipline required to stay with the diet. I wish you the greatest of good heath!