Many people today are confused about diet, especially when it comes to cancer prevention and cancer recovery. The “sugar feeds cancer” concept has caused many to avoid fresh fruits and other important nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains and other beneficial complex carbohydrates. Whether you want to prevent cancer or support cancer recovery, there are many whole foods that you should consider including in your daily diet. Here are some tips for creating a powerful eating plan.
- Eat a diet consisting of whole foods. This is essential for promoting better health and for preventing cancer. Begin to eliminate processed, convenience, and fast foods.
- Reduce or eliminate consumption of red meat. If you choose to eat red meat, limit portions to four ounces and have once a week or less. Choose grass-fed, wild, or organic meat and pair it with two servings of colorful vegetables.
- Add flax to your daily diet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds to a smoothie, soup, or salad. Flax seeds are high in a substance called “lignans,” which are known for their ability to help prevent viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Ground flax seeds also provides essential Omega-3 fats and are an excellent source of fiber. Flax lignans are considered cancer preventive and may inhibit the spread of cancer.1
- Power up with cruciferous vegetables. There has been much research showing the anti-cancer properties of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, collards, radishes, and turnips. However, the sprouts of certain crucifers, such as broccoli, contain 10-100 times higher levels of cancer-fighting substance, sulphoraphane which has been shown to inhibit cancer stem cells.2
- Include foods that boost glutathione, our body’s premier internal antioxidant. Asparagus is the best source of glutathione, but many other foods boost our body’s ability to produce it naturally. Avocado, cilantro, spinach, garlic, eggs, and un-denatured (cold processed) whey protein (from grass-fed cows or goats) are known to improve glutathione production. Eating two Brazil nuts every day is effective for increasing selenium, and important trace mineral needed for glutathione production and cancer prevention.
- Consume bitter greens regularly, both cooked and raw. These include watercress, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, arugula, escarole, chard, and kale are good choices. Dandelion greens is one of the best choices since it is the best food for the liver. Dandelion greens promote the flow of bile and have anti-tumor effects. Both the root and leaves have traditionally been used to support liver function in people with cancer. Add bitter greens to salads or juice blends.
- All fruits have healing properties, especially 3 Choose organic blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries. Berries are nutrient dense and packed with antioxidants, fiber, and potent phytonutrients that can help improve health and fight cancer. Cranberries can inhibit tumor growth.4
- Citrus is also beneficial for optimal health. Grapefruit boosts cancer-fighting liver enzymes and improves detoxification. Citrus peel contains some of the most anti-cancer, liver-protective substances called terpenes. Mince the peel of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and oranges and tangerines, and sprinkle over salads or use in smoothies.
- Bone stock is gaining popularity although it is a traditional food. Use bone stock to make soups or add it to rice and steamed vegetables. This healing food is excellent for the immune system, digestive tract, joints, and bones. If you are making homemade stock, be sure to purchase only organic bones from healthy, humanely raised animals.
Most natural health practitioners agree that sugar is a key driver in the development and progression of cancer. But don’t discard cancer-fighting fruits (listed above). Consume these powerful fruits moderately and as part of balanced meals. The same goes for grains, which can feed beneficial gut flora and provide fiber. What is more important is controlling your blood glucose and insulin levels through a balanced diet, herbs, supplements, exercise, and meditation. This is one of the most crucial components of a cancer preventive or cancer recovery program.
- Calado A, Nieves P, Ravasco P, The Effect of Flaxseed in Breast Cancer: A Literature Review, Frontiers in Nutrition, 2018, 5: 4
- Castro NP, Rangel MC, Merchant AS, et al. Sulforaphane Suppresses the Growth of Triple-negative Breast Cancer Stem-like Cells In vitro and In vivo.Cancer Prev Res (Phila). Mar 2019;12(3):147-158.
- Kristo, Aleksandra S et al. “Protective Role of Dietary Berries in Cancer.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) 5,4 37. 19 Oct. 2016, doi:10.3390/antiox5040037
- Weh KM, Clarke J, Kresty LA. Cranberries and Cancer: An Update of Preclinical Studies Evaluating the Cancer Inhibitory Potential of Cranberry and Cranberry Derived Constituents. Antioxidants (Basel). 2016;5(3):27. Published 2016 Aug 18. doi:10.3390/antiox5030027
- Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
- Mikirova N, Casciari J, Riordan N, Hunninghake R. Clinical experience with intravenous administration of ascorbic acid: achievable levels in blood for different states of inflammation and disease in cancer patients. J Transl Med. 2013;11:191. Published 2013 Aug 15. doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-191