The C word

I don’t want it. You don’t want it. Nobody likes the sound of it. Our loved ones and our loved ones loved ones are getting it all around us. Do we know how it works? Why and how we get it? There are many factors and even the healthiest of healthy people can come down with it. Can it be cured? Can it be prevented?  It’s one of those things. Much like a car accident we avoid them the best we can by driving safely, wearing our seatbelt, having a designated driver, airbag deployment, not texting and just plain ole being alert and aware. Sometimes no matter what we do we are predisposed to come down with the big C. The best we can do is do our best to prevent it.

In no particular order I have dug up some karate chopping,  bizzle slapping, cancer ass kicking food stuffs  that we can easily add to our diets.

Also if you are are having a hard time getting your shizz together in the food department and need some support (myself included!)  check out the Winter Reboot. Come on over and join the party.

Garlic – Hello Allyl Sulfur compounds! These hotties  help the body get rid of cancer-causing chemicals and help cause cancer cells to die off naturally, a process called apoptosis. Advocates claim garlic can be used to treat bacterial, yeast, fungal, and parasitic infections and can be used to treat high blood sugar levels.

Probiotics- This is a biggie!  Over 800 different strains of bacteria are known to live in our gut, 400 have been identified and many control the level of microbes and yeasts living in your body. Recent US research concluded microbe infection was a big factor in colorectal cancer. Keep in mind that only taking taking one variety, most commonly acidophilus, is unlikely to be enough. Multi-strain probiotics do exist, each with 7 or 8 different strains. By feeding them the foods they love (whole foods, fibrous foods) their levels will soon multiply….like bunnies.  This is a fun little probiotic factoid page if you want to go a little deeper than this little blurb.

Fermented foods – Fermented foods  are known to help take care of and keep your gut healthy.  The process of lactofermentation  is when natural bacteria have a snack attack on the sugar and starch whipping it into lactic acid . Not only does this magic preserve the food it creates beneficial digestive enzymes, Omega-3 fatty acids, B Vitamins and various strains of probiotics. Hello healthy guts. Cabbage is specifically awesome and should be eaten regularly in any way shape or form. Water Kefir and Kombucha are also beverages that fall under the fermentation catergory.  I love me some kombacha and is always a nice alternitive when wanting the bubbly goodness of a HFC laden soda. 

Lycopene – Oh hey tomatoes! Lycopene is of the carotenoid family and is a pigment that helps give red fruits and vegetables their color. It’s also one hell of free radical-fighting antioxidant. Free radicals are damaging molecules that float around in the body disrupting cells and promoting disease. Take that! Antioxidants, such as lycopene, destroy free radicals so they can’t attach to your cells and wreak havoc on your hard-working immune system.

Caratenoids - Studies show that these little bad boys may indirectly reduce cancer risk by metabolizing into retinol, which regulates cell growth and gene expression and may curb tumor growth. Another possible explanation holds that carotenoids may improve cell communication and enhance immune system function and the body’s ability to suppress abnormally growing cells.
Produce like carrots, spinach and kale are particularly high in carotenoids.

Antioxidants -  It goes something like this.  antioxidants = molecules that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation = a chemical reaction that create free radicals. Free radicals start chain reactions that cause death to a cell.  As JT would say Bye Bye Bye.  Ok that is taking it tooooo far. he best approach to antioxidants is to consume a wide variety of them, not large amounts of just one. They work together synergistically, all performing different roles in your body, like an orchestra performing a symphony. The music falls very short if only one or two instruments are playing.

  • Typical spices high in antioxidants are clove, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil,curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander, onion and cardamom. Typical herbs are sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savory, basil and dill weed.
  • Deeply pigmented fruits like cranberries, blueberries, plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, figs, cherries, guava, oranges, mango, grape juice and pomegranate juice also have significant ORAC scores.
  • Typical cooked vegetables rich in antioxidants are artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, beetroot and spinach.
  • Nuts are a moderate source of polyphenol antioxidants. Typical nuts are pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, almonds, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts and peanut butter.

Alkaline/Acid BalanceHuman blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 – 7.45 ).  Below or above this range means symptoms and disease.  A pH of 7.0 is neutral.  A pH below 7.0 is acidic.  A pH above 7.0 is alkaline.

An acidic pH can occur from, an acid forming diet, toxic overload, immunodeficiencies, or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients.  The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by snatching up alkaline minerals. Not enough minerals to compensate? You get an unsavory build up of acids in cells.

An acidic balance will impact the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, energy production in the cells goes down, ability to repair damaged cells goes down and  it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals takes a digger.  Tumor cells thrive in this environment.

The Standard American diet has acid forming written all over it.  Meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing fresh vegetables.  Many people live on acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and guzzle acid producing beverages like soda and coffee.  Also the super acidic are the artificial chemical sweetener frenemies of the modern world, Sweet ‘N Low, Equal, NutraSweet or Aspartame, are not only nasty tasting  but also extremely acid forming.

Heathy peeps should shoot for 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods.  To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.

Vitamin D - Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the body and affects many other tissues in the body, including the kidneys, intestines, and parathyroid glands. Vitamin D is found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, as well as in cod liver oil and other fish liver oils. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks contain small amounts. Most of the milk supply in the United States has vitamin D added to it, as do some breakfast cereals, orange juices, and milk substitutes (such as soy milk). Experts note that vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a vitamin, in part because the body can make its own vitamin D if the skin gets enough ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight.

Strong evidence indicates that intake or synthesis of vitamin D is associated with reduced incidence and death rates of colon, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers. More than 1000 laboratory and epidemiological studies have been published concerning the association between vitamin D and its metabolites and cancer. Long-term studies have demonstrated the efficacy of moderate intake of vitamin D in reducing cancer risk and, when administered with calcium, in reducing the incidence of fractures.

Omega 3s - Every cell in our body is surrounded by a cell membrane composed mainly of fatty acids. The cell membrane allows the proper amounts of necessary nutrients to enter the cell, and ensures that waste products are quickly removed from the cell. In conjunction with Vitamin E, the primary fat-soluble antioxidant, protects omega-3 fats from oxidation.

  • Flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Very good sources of these healthy fats include salmon, sardines, cloves, and grass-fed beef. Good sources of these fats include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and winter squash.
  • Studies have proven that a relatively small number of omega-3 food sources can have a measurable impact on your blood levels of omega-3s, including those two key omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). For example, two weekly servings of a non-fried, omega-3 containing fish (like wild-caught Pacific salmon) is enough to boost your blood levels of omega-3s.

 Sunscreen – 1.5 ounces, the size of a shot glass all over your bod… every two hours.

Kiwi – Vitamin C, E, lutien, copper… 

  • Kiwifruit has been shown to contain an anti mutagenic component, helping to prevent the mutations of genes that may initiate the cancer process. The presence of glutathione may account for the reduction.
  • Carcinogenic nitrates are formed during the smoking or barbecuing of foods. When nitrates are ingested, a process called nitrosation can occur, in which free radicals are formed that may lead to the formation of gastric or other cancers. Kiwi has been demonstrated to aid in the prevention of nitrosations.
  • In another in vitro test with cultured mammalian-cell lines, kiwifruit extract was found to inhibit melanoma, or skin cancer.
  • The amino acid arginine, present in kiwifruit, is being looked at by cardiologists to improve post angioplasty blood flow and actually prevent the formation (or reformation) of plaque in the arteries.
  • Kiwifruit is ranked as having the fourth highest natural antioxidant potentialónext to the red fruits containing high levels of beta carotene.
  • Lutein, an important phytochemical found in kiwifruit, has been linked to the prevention of prostate and lung cancer.
  • In addition to kiwifruit being recognized by the FDA as an excellent source of dietary fiber, studies indicate that it contains another not-yet-isolated compound that accelerates digestive transit time even faster than dietary fiber alone is important for colorectal cancer prevention. The benefit of this laxative action is to decrease the build-up of cancer-promoting metabolites.
  • Kiwifruit is one of the few fruits that are green at maturity, and chlorophyll is responsible for that color. Several studies have suggested that chlorophyll in, a derivative of chlorophyll, is an inhibitor of liver carcinogenesis.

Reservsatol - Is a potent antioxidant found in a number of plants, including red grape skins, pomegranate, raw cacao, peanuts, and berries like raspberries and mulberries, is known to have a number of beneficial health effects.

  • The compound is produced by plants to increase their survival and resistance to disease during times of stress, such as excessive ultraviolet light, infections and climate changes. When you consume these plants, you can reap similar protection.
  • Resveratrol’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties have been well-established by science, and its benefits are thought to extend to the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
  • Besides playing a role in the prevention of cancer, studies have also found that resveratrol can serve important functions in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies, as it acts as a:
    • Chemo-sensitizer—a substance that can help you overcome resistance to chemotherapy drugs
    • Radiation-sensitizer; making cancer cells more susceptible to radiation treatment

The Allium family of vegetables - onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions.

  • Epidemiological studies have found that increased consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with decreased risk of several cancers in oral, esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
  • In scientific studies, organosulfur compounds prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens and halting cancer cell growth. These garlic and onion phytochemicals are also anti-angiogenic, which means that they can prevent tumors from obtaining a blood supply to fuel their growth.

 

There you have it folks.  Clearly not an exhaustive list of things we can be doing but I hope this sheds some light on the topic.

What will you be adding more of to your diet?

 

Happy eating!

Amy

 

 

References:

  • http://www.cancer.org
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/03/cabbage.aspx
  • http://pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/nutrition/how-lycopene-helps-protect-against-cancer
  • Certain Fruits and Vegetables Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk | TIME.com http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/07/certain-fruits-and-vegetables-linked-to-lower-breast-cancer-risk/#ixzz2qcgyPAFu
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_antioxidants_in_food
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_diet
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/03/cabbage.aspx
  • Lilliu H, Pamphile R, Chapuy MC, Schulten J, Arlot M, Meunier PJ. Calcium-vitamin D3 supplementation is cost-effective in hip fractures prevention. Maturitas. 2003;44(4):299–305.[PubMed]
  • http://www.calharvest.com/kinutr4.html
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/28/resveratrol-cancer-prevention.aspx
  •  Powolny A, Singh S. Multitargeted prevention and therapy of cancer by diallyl trisulfide and related Allium vegetable-derived organosulfur compounds. Cancer Lett 2008;269:305-314.
  • http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/anti-cancer-foods-onions-garlic.aspx
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