Foods That Have Potential Anti-Cancer Effects
Ongoing cancer research is taking a closer look at factors within our control, and the good news is that we can make lifestyle and diet changes that may prevent and even help treat the disease. Studies are uncovering links between certain foods and cancer, and it is important for holistic nutrition practitioners to understand which foods pose a risk and which foods may help prevent cancer and augment medical treatment protocols. A clear understanding enables holistic nutritionists to make appropriate recommendations and develop dietary strategies that help their clients.
Lightly Cooked Cruciferous Vegetables
Vegetables contain phytochemicals that have demonstrated a powerful effect against carcinogenesis, the initiation of cancer. It is recommended that people eat more than 6 servings of vegetables each day, since that is the amount that has been shown to reduce cancer rates and the rate of cancer recurrences. Cruciferous vegetables in the cabbage family including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts have compounds that have been shown to inhibit cancer growth. These vegetables also help detoxification to reduce the accumulation of cancer-causing toxins in the body. To gain the best results from eating cruciferous vegetables, cook them lightly by stir frying or cook them in a minimal amount of liquid. The vegetables should be well chewed.
Antioxidants in Berries
Berries contain the most powerful antioxidants found in nature, and the fresher and darker the berry, the higher the antioxidant content. These antioxidants are compounds termed bioflavonoids that act as a type of “oil” in the energy manufacturing “machinery” of the cell. Bioflavonoids reduce oxidation, the formation of harmful free radicals, and they have been shown to improve DNA repair while preventing the creation of cancer cells. Choose blueberries, blackberries, acai berries, aroma, bilberries, and other berries. Make sure to purchase organic produce, since eating ordinary berries that have been treated with pesticides will expose you to these harmful toxins.
Turmeric and the Garlic Family of Vegetables
Turmeric has been widely studied, and it has been found that compounds called curcuminoids, most importantly curcumin, found in the spice inhibits the growth of cancer and kills cancer cells in the laboratory. Animal studies show that the Allium or garlic family of vegetables can lead to cancer prevention. The garlic family contains large amounts of sulphur compounds that can prevent cancer and support general detoxification. Prepare foods using garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and chives, all Allium family vegetables. Fresh crushed garlic is the best source for these beneficial sulphur compounds, and is preferred over garlic supplements.
Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Mushrooms contain long chains of sugar molecules termed polysaccharides, which act to stimulate the immune system. Shitake and Maitake mushrooms are the most commonly available mushrooms with polysaccharides. They are commonly stir fried lightly to increase the taste while retaining their positive immune system quality. Tomatoes contain high levels of carotenoids and bioflavonoids, which have been shown to prevent and inhibit cancer growth.
Fermented Soy products such as tofu, tempeh and miso contain compounds called isoflavones. These molecules act as hormone buffers and reduce the risk of cancers that are sensitive to hormones. Since soy products are featured in Asian diets, it has been suggested that they are the reason behind lower cancer rates for ovarian, breast and prostate cancer in Asian countries. It should be noted that cancer patients taking antagonistic drugs such as Tamoxifen and Arimidex should take no more than 100 grams of soy per day.
A Cup of Green or White Tea
Having a cup of green or white tea is also thought to inhibit and prevent cancer. Green and white teas contain catechins, notably EGCG, which large studies show reduce cancer rates. The theanine in green tea improves the mood, reduces the appetite and improves sleep, all important in preventing cancer. Japanese Matcha Tea has the highest level of catechins, but all green and white teas have a high level of the substance. Green teas should be prepared by steeping for 3 minutes.
Edison Institute Certified Holistic Cancer Practitioner Course
The Edison Institute Certified Holistic Cancer Practitioner course discusses the possible causes of cancer and its link to diet. The course helps holistic health practitioners develop dietary and lifestyle strategies for people living with cancer.
The Holistic Cancer Practitioner Course runs a total of 3 days. 5 days of home study are required before taking the webinar. The next live webinar dates are Saturday January 9, February 6 and March 5, 2016.