Whether you want to prevent, treat or deal with the effects of dis-ease in your body, there are guidelines that will help create an optimal healthy environment within your body and can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer and other diseases. These guidelines can change the environment in your body so that it will not support the growth of cancer and can provide the support you need to fight existing disease.
The importance of a healthy lifestyle cannot be overstated. Key components are avoiding tobacco use and exposure to cigarette smoke, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol or drinking only moderate amounts (less than 1-2 glasses of wine, one beer, or 1 ounce of alcohol per day), optimal nutrition and stress reduction techniques.
A good diet is essential to good health. Evidence is clear that poor dietary habits contribute to many diseases, including cancer.
Poor diet is a major cause of cancer in this country for 2 main reasons. One is that a poor diet does not supply the body with the needed nutrients to maintain healthy cells and tissues; thus the immune system is less able to defend against foreign invaders that can trigger cancer growth. Second, a poor diet can lead to an over-weight condition which interrupts the body’s ability to regulate interactions between diet, metabolism, physical activity, hormones, and growth factors.
Free radicals (a highly reactive atom that can destroy body tissues) come from the environment as pollutions but also from diet in the forms of fats damaged by frying, the presence of nitrates and from the cell’s own metabolic activity. It is important to limit exposure to dietary free radicals as well as environmental ones and to increase your intake of antioxidant nutrients and other substances that support immune function.
From Dr. Andrew Weil’s newsletter, April, 2009…
We are gaining some insight into how turmeric (curcumin) exerts its benefits. University of Michigan researchers have discovered that curcumin incorporates itself into cell membranes and makes them more orderly. This allows the membranes to more effectively control the flow of substances in and out of cells, which improves cells’ resistance to infection and malignancy. These findings were published online March 3, 2009, for the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Omega-3s Battle Tumors
Add this to the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: Egyptian researchers have found that docosahexanoic acid (DHA), one of the primary omega-3s, reduced the size of solid tumors in mice and increased the efficacy of a chemotherapy drug. The new findings, published in the April 2, 2009 issue of Cell Division, may lead to the use of DHA combined with chemo in treating solid tumors. DHA may also work against tumors by itself, the researchers said. The study also noted that DHA reduced toxicity and damage to the kidney caused by cisplatin, the chemotherapy drug used against tumors in mice. Omega-3s are found in salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines as well as plant-derived foods such as walnuts.
The following is excerpted from: How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine, M.Murray, et al (2002)…
Seven Key Principles of the Disease-Prevention Diet
1) Eat a ‘rainbow’ assortment of fruits and vegetables.
By selecting foods of varying colors you give your body the full spectrum of cancer-fighting compounds and the nutrients it needs for optimal function and protection against disease. Many substances found in fruit and vegetables are known to protect against cancer, such as antioxidants like vitamin C, folic acid, glutathione and phytochemicals (carotenes, coumarin, flavonoids, bioflavonaoids, lignans, and more.
Note: Glutathione is one if the most important anti-cancer and aging fighters due to it’s combination of detoxification and free-radical protection. It is readily absorbed from foods such as fresh fruits, avocado, asparagus, walnuts, cabbage, broccoli; but not well absorbed as a supplement.
2) Reduce exposure to pesticides. Buy organic foods, try to buy local produce in season and don’t over consume meats, animal fats, milk and cheese as these concentrate pesticides.
3) Reduce intake of meat and other animal foods.
Eat no more than 3 oz.per day and use only lean cuts. Avoid well-done, charbroiled meat. Don’t eat cured meats. Consider buying free-range and grass-fed.
4) Eat the right type of fats by increasing the intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. High fat diets are positively linked to numerous cancers. Decrease total fat consumed (especially saturated fats) and increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids (fish and flax seed oil) and monosaturated fatty acids.
5) Avoid high-calorie, low nutrient foods such as junk foods, candy, soft drinks. If sugar or salt is one of the first 3 ingredients on the label, don’t eat it!
6) Keep salt intake low, potassium intake high. Electrolytes (potassium, sodium, chloride and magnesium) are mineral salts that can conduct electricity when dissolved in water. For optimal health, it is important to consume these in proper balance. Too much sodium in the diet can disrupt this balance. Try flavoring foods with herbs, spices and lemon juice instead of salt. Try to avoid processed foods, avoid canned soups or canned vegetables.
7) Choose foods that help your body detoxify and eliminate waste. Incomplete protein digestion can result in the formation of compounds (polyamines) that stimulate cell growth and increase cancer risk. Natural compounds such as Bifidobactera, Vitamin A, selenium, peppermint and other plant oils and goldenseal can inhibit formation of polyamines. However, the best way to prevent the excessive formation of polyamines is to ensure optimal digestive function and elimination. Protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzymes can be a helpful supplementation.
Eat a high fiber diet as fiber traps the toxins excreted in the bile and eliminates them from the body. Try to focus on vegetables and legumes as your dietary fiber source.
Enzymes, proteins made by your cells that promote chemical changes, help your body neutralize and eliminate toxic substances. Some enzymes change harmful compounds into inactive ones, others repair damage to DNA. A healthy diet, plus a high-potency multivitamin and mineral formula help insure your body will have an adequate supply of enzymes.
Regularly consume spices and herbs that support detoxification, such as turmeric, red pepper (cayenne or chili pepper), black pepper, dill, caraway, garlic, onion, basil and oregano. Curcumin, is the stuff that gives turmeric its yellow color (the spice found in curry). It seems to inhibit some carcinogens and neutralize toxic compounds like those in cigarette smoke.
Drink water! Low water consumption increases the risk for cancer. You need at least six to eight glasses of filtered or purified water each day.
My husband and I own a beautiful Cancer Retreat Center on the paradisiacal Big Island of Hawaii where we have the opportunity to share peace and love and healing techniques such as Qigong, Reiki, meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness, nature and laughter with others who have been touched by cancer. We hold Cancer Retreats in Bali, Indonesia twice a year. The next Cancer Retreat, called “Heal the Pages of Your Life Story” will be held June 19 -23 at the lovely, peaceful WakaMaya Resort in Sanur, Bali. Both local residents and international visitors are welcome. Our next Group Healing Through Cancer Retreats in Hawaii are September 12 & 25-28 . Participants are welcome to bring a partner/support person with them.