Preventing Cancer Through Holistic Nutrition

Thursday, August 24, 2017

When it comes to cancer or diseases in general, most people underestimate the power nutrition can have on prevention and treatment. Due to the accessibility of food in Canada, Canadians have the opportunity to make very good as well as very bad food choices. Many people regularly eat carcinogenic foods without having any idea that these foods are in fact bad for them. Here is a list of 3 foods to avoid:

1. Meat cooked at very high temperatures

This one comes as a surprise to many people, but consuming meat that has been cooked at high temperatures (i.e. pan fried or grilled over an open flame) could increase your chances of developing cancer. This is because when muscle meat, including beef, pork, and poultry is exposed to high temperatures heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) chemicals are formed. In laboratory experiments, both HCAs and PAHs have been found to be mutagenic, which means that they cause changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer.

2. Canned tomatoes

The lining of most cans used for foods is made up of a chemical called Bisphenol-A (BPA). Exposure to BPA can put a person at an increased risk of developing prostate or breast cancer. The reason why canned tomatoes are more dangerous than other canned foods are because of their acidity. Tomatoes have a very high acidity, which causes BPA to leach from the lining of the can into the fruit.

3. Hydrogenated oils

Hydrogenated oils are used by food companies in order to decrease costs and increase shelf life. Hydrogenation is a process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. Unfortunately, hydrogenated oils can influence cell membrane structure and flexibility, which can lead to cancer. Hydrogenated oils are commonly found in pre made baked goods, packaged snacks, and margarine.

The good news is that there are also many foods that can prevent and fight cancer. Here is a list of 3 cancer preventing/fighting foods:

1. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are unique because they are rich in sulfur containing compounds known as glucosinolates. According to the National Cancer Institute, glucosinolates are broken down during the chewing and digestion process into biologically active compounds which prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Here is a list of cruciferous vegetables that you can include in your diet:
Arugula
Brussel Sprouts
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Collard Greens
Cabbage
Kale

2. Fruit and vegetables that contain high amounts of vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is found in many fruits and vegetables. Among other things, Vitamin C helps prevent the formation of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds. Diets high in vitamin C have been shown to reduce the risk of stomach, colon, bladder, and breast cancer.
Here is a list of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables:
Guava
Red peppers
Oranges
Grapefruit
Green peppers
Kiwi
Strawberries

3. Nuts and seeds

In addition to being loaded with healthy fats, studies have found that consuming large amounts of peanuts, walnuts, or almonds can reduce a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. A 2015 study compared the lifetime consumption of nuts and seeds among 97 breast cancer patients with the consumption of those without breast cancer. The study found that women who ate large quantities of nuts and seeds were half to one-third as likely to develop breast cancer. No difference was found between people who ate a small amount of nuts and seeds and those who ate none at all, which suggests that a person must consume a substantial amount of nuts and seeds over their lifetime to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer.

The full list of cancer preventing foods is much longer than the list presented above. If you take your nutrition seriously it would be in your best interests to seek the guidance of a holistic nutritionist. Unlike some doctors, both holistic nutritionists and naturopathic doctors take very proactive approaches when it comes to diseases. It is important to remember that nutrition is just one of many factors when it comes to preventing/treating cancer. Any form/stage of cancer should be taken very seriously and looked at by a professional.

References

Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. (n.d.). Retrieved
August 20, 2017, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet

(2015) The Protective Effect of Peanut, Walnut, and Almond Consumption on the Development of Breast Cancer. href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26183374?log$=activity”>Gynecol Obstet Invest.2015;80(2):89-92. doi: 10.1159/000369997.

Dr. Josh Axe and Eric Zielinski. (2017, June 21). Cruciferous Vegetables: Cancer Killer or Thyroid Killers? Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://draxe.com/cruciferous-vegetables-cancer-thyroid/


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