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Reducing Your Risk of Cancer Through Diet

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Author: Dr. Alyson Munkley, ND Thornbury ON

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Reducing Your Risk of Cancer Through Diet


One of the most powerful and inexpensive ways to reduce the risk of cancer development and support healing in cancer treatment is through diet.  Scientific research is increasingly supporting the value of dietary compounds as cancer protective, and cancer fighting agents.

As a general guideline, plant-based foods tend to pack the most punch in preventing cellular mutations and enhancing cellular repair to help prevent the development and growth of cancer cells.  Plant foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, a wide variety of health-promoting phytochemicals, and typically shift the body into a more alkaline state. 

As a general guideline, try to focus a minimum of 2/3 of your diet on unprocessed, plant-based foods, such as organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and a maximum of 1/3 of the diet on animal based foods, such as organic meats, eggs, and dairy.  Sugar (the number one fuel source for cancer cells and a powerful immune suppressant), processed foods, and trans fats should be kept to an absolute minimum!

Making a commitment to incorporating more healthy foods in your diet can be highly rewarding in the long-run.  You will notice improvements in your energy level, digestive function, skin, and even sleep quality.  Try integrating some of the following powerful anti-cancer agents into your diet to help protect your health and increase your vitality!

 Top 5 Cancer Fighting Foods

1.  Brassica Family Veggies: broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, kale, collard greens.  This group of vegetables contains cancer fighting indole-3-carbinol, and detoxifying sulfur compounds.  Eat ½-1 cup/day, preferably raw or lightly steamed.

2.  Sea Vegetables:  Spirulina, nori, kelp, dulse, arame, and kombu.  Sea vegetables are highly alkalinizing, rich in minerals, detoxifying, and protective against the effects of radiation.  Add to soups or stir-frys, try a seaweed salad, add spirulina to smoothies or organic apple sauce.

3.  Turmeric: this herb is one of the best anti-inflammatories, used internally or externally.  It is also a powerful antioxidant, supports liver function, and has been shown to prevent cancer cell growth and help to protect against cancer cell proliferation caused by pesticide exposure.  Turmeric can be taken as a food or in supplement form.

4.  Fresh Local Berries: packed with antioxidants and cancer-protective phytochemicals that help to prevent cell damage and reduce genetic mutations that lead to tumour growth.  Because berries can be heavily sprayed, buy organic (fresh or frozen) and local whenever possible. 

5.  Foods Rich in Omega 3 Oils: anti-inflammatory and promote healthy cell membranes.  Try fish, flax, and walnuts.

 Acupuncture & Cancer Treatment

The National Cancer Institute has an excellent summary of human/clinic studies in the use of acupuncture for cancer treatment. 

Areas of research include acupuncture for immune function, cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and other cancer related symptoms, including edema, fatigue, and weight loss.  Positive effects were seen in all areas.

I have personally found acupuncture to be of benefit for patients in the support of immune system function and the reduction in side-effects associated with cancer treatments (www.cancer.gov).

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