Cancer, the Plant-Based Diet & Sugar 

Summary: Hippocrates said it best, “Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” When dealing with cancer and other illnesses, eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and protein is best. Avoiding chemicalized processed foods denies the cancer cells what they need from the body to grow and spread. Learn about the different phytochemicals present in many plant-based foods which have been linked to the death and prevention of cancer cells. Be advised and reminded on how sugar should be limited in the diet and the chaos an overload of sugar can bring.

The World Health Organization and most doctors now agree that eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and protein is the best for the body when dealing with cancer of any kind. Not only do these foods help the body heal after diagnosis, they can also prevent cancer and other illnesses from occurring in the first place. Many doctors and specialists are also turning to a more plant-based diets, citing the newest research that phytochemicals and naturally occurring plant compounds can also fight against cancer cells.

Recent laboratory tests have proved that plant-based diets benefit the body in these ways:

  – helps to regulate hormones
  -can trigger damaged cells to destroy themselves before they can replicate
  – slow the growth rate of cancer cells
  – reduce the kind of oxidative damage to cells that can trigger cancer growth
  – can help to prevent DNA damage and help to repair cells that have already been damaged
  – can help block the carcinogens and chemicals that enter our bodies through the things we eat and drink
  – stimulates the immune system to a higher functioning level.

In a study done and published in the journal of Food Chemistry* showed that when fresh vegetables and fruits were juiced, they added to a variety of cancer cell lines that are derived from the lining of healthy cells in the stomach, prostate, kidney, breast, brain, pancreatic, and lung cancer cells. These juiced nutrients helped to stop the reproduction of cancer cells in various parts of the body. While these studies do show that the nutrients in vegetables and fruits do help to boost the cell health, this does not mean every cancer or illness will be affected in the same way.

Different phytochemicals offer different cancer fighting defenses. These are:

  – Carotenoids are found in red, orange, and green fruits and vegetables including broccoli, carrots, tomato, leafy green, apricots, oranges, and watermelon. This type of phytochemical can inhibit cancer cell growth, work as antioxidants to clear free radicals, and improve immune response.

  – Flavonoids are found in apples, citrus fruits, onions, soybeans and soy products, coffee and tea. These may help to inhibit inflammation and tumor growth, while boosting immunity and the natural production of detoxifying enzymes in the body.

  – Indoles and glucosinolates comes from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens or kale. These can help the body detoxify the carcinogens present and prevent cancer growth and spreading.

  – Inositol or phytic acid is from bran from corn, oats, rice, rye, wheat, nuts, soybeans and soy. These may diminish cell growth and work as an antioxidant.

  – Isoflavones come from soy and soy products and help to inhibit tumor growth, limiting the production of cancer-related hormones.

  – Isothiocyanates come from cruciferous vegetables and can help to reduce and detoxify against carcinogens, block tumor growth and work as antioxidants.

  – Polyphenols stem from green tea, grapes, wine, berries, apples, whole grains, citrus fruits, and peanuts. These can block the formation of cancer cells and prevent inflammation.

  – Terpenes like limonene and carnosol come from cherries, citrus fruit peel, and rosemary. These may prevent cells from becoming cancerous, stop their spread and growth, strengthen immune function, fight viruses and work as an antioxidant. Cherries and cherry juice are also very beneficial to arthritis issues and joint inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation

One of the leading causes for the development of cancers is long term internal body inflammation. Over time, the constant inflammation and extra stress put on the body can trigger abnormal cell growth and malfunctioning organ systems. While there can be many causes of inflammation, the most common are: infection, gut bacteria imbalance, smoking, obesity, autoimmune diseases or other chronic illnesses, diabetes, toxins, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Certain types of illnesses and inflammation do require medical or medication intervention to help relieve the constant inflammation and pain.

Diet is one of the easier ways to attempt to ease your inflammation without adding in more carcinogens or medications that could have adverse side effects to your body.

White Sugar and Cancer

Recent studies done from the National Cancer Institute and World Health Organization show that nearly half of the adult United States of America population has either diabetes or are in a prediabetic state. Many who already have these conditions are unaware and continue living as if they do not. The World Health Organization states that adults should consume no more than five percent of an adult’s total intake of calories per day. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this means 25 grams of sugar or less. Many are unaware of the amount of sugars they ingest on a daily basis. In one meal replacement shake, a person can have one week’s worth of sugar in one serving.

Another issue directly affecting blood sugars and the sugar levels in the body is carbohydrates. Carbs do increase your overall glycemic load. A lower glycemic load can make you feel tired and lose weight, while a higher glycemic load can cause serious life-long issues within the body. Sugar alternatives can be used to help ease the load and sugar count. Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, stevia, and xylitol are decent options. Berries and fruits can be eaten instead of baked goods or food items with high, unnatural sugar content. Limiting your carb intake can be beneficial not only for avoiding cancers, but also avoiding many life-long illnesses.

Regardless of which diet you follow or which sugars you choose to use and consume, these guidelines could help you to make better choices for your overall health:

  – always eat your food or meals in a relaxed environment
  – minimize your alcohol intake and consumption
  – avoid nitrates, nitrites, and preservatives found in premade and processed foods
  – avoid foods high in contaminates like mycotoxins, like peanuts
  – minimize sugar and simple carbohydrate intake
  – use organic, natural spices with your recipes
  – avoid using rancid oils and excess polyunsaturated fats
  – drink herbal teas and green teas
  – avoid soft drinks, excess fruit juice, and high fructose corn syrup
  – avoid excess salt
  – avoid trans-fat foods like those that are processed or made to last for a long time on the shelf
  – avoid artificial sweeteners and food preservatives
  – minimize dairy intake
  – consume healthy oils, like olive, avocado or coconut oils
  – avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils, like soybean, corn and cottonseed
  – eat foods in their natural state
  – eat foods rich in omega-3 fats , which includes cold-water fish, plant-based foods
  – eat foods rich in fiber
  – drink purified water
  – eat organic as often as possible

Diet and nutrition are truly the base upon which our entire health rests. Studies have proven that with proper nutrition and treatment, the patients’ overall response and healing is faster and easier with less complication. Diet can be a very difficult thing to change and take months of practice. When you are ready to fully change your diet for health, the possibilities for you are endless.

Resources Used:

Stengler (book reference)


Food Chemistry Journals

National Cancer Institute

World Health Organization

Reclaiming Intimacy

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