The Cancer Diet
Natural remedies and aggressive chemotherapy can treat cancer individually but work well complementing each other. So if you are on a chemo regimen, there is nothing to stop you seeking alternative medicine which can range from acupuncture to herbal tinctures. One will not upset the other.
Perhaps the first thing people do to combat cancer is begin with exercise and diet. As far as medical treatment goes, there will be no advice given regarding your diet. A doctor will tell you there’s no evidence that any one diet can influence the outcome in the treatment of cancer aside from the drugs prescribed. All the medical establishment sees is a tumour that needs to be removed, and it must be killed with poisons (chemo drugs) or radiation or surgically removed. Often for people with stomach cancer the procedure has been to remove the stomach thereby proclaiming that the cancer is gone, but cutting out cancerous tissue does not mean the dis-ease is irradicated.
So you turn to a charity that deals with your particular cancer. For Hodgkins Lymphoma this will be The Lymphoma Association or for Leukaemia it might be Leukaemia CARE. These organisations are very specific about the service they provide and cover almost everything about that type of cancer. Generally they provide all the basic information, inform about the latest successes and trials and they act as a support service so that you do not feel left alone in your predicament.
Charities don’t look much outside of the medical facts so it’s unlikely that you’ll come across dietry advice that goes beyond what would be advisable to any healthy individual. There simply isn’t the scope to address alternative treatments such as herbal remedies. As far as trying to cure your own cancer, doctors and charities do not stray further than official treatments of drugs, radiotherapy and surgery.
However there is a lot of things that you can do outside of the official medication and dis-ease advice. People who have adequate but not too much sleep are allowing their body the opportunity to maintain itself, people who exercise regularly are keeping the body well oiled and in tune, and people who understand their dietary needs are providing the battery power to fight the dis-ease. These are the basic things to look at, the first steps to recovery. After all we keep telling ourselves that ‘you are what you eat,’ and ‘you’re as fit as you feel,’ right.
Cancer attacks indiscriminately but it’s true that overall fitness is a factor in the prospects for full recovery in addition to age, family history and other factors. Someone who has led a sedentary life will be equally affected and at the same risk from their cancer as an athlete, but the athlete will have a better chance for a successful recovery simply because their body and mind are better equipped.
So the big message is, the better the shape you are in, the better the odds. This doesn’t mean the person with the sendentary lifestyle should give up, the body is a remarkable thing. Think about how mind and body work together in the placebo effect. The minute you set your mind to it is the moment your body starts listening. So I am not saying you have to be as fit as an athlete to overcome the dis-ease, I’m saying life choices from here on are extremely important and could well be the decider on whether you make a full recovery or not.
How does this apply to a cancer diet?
Cast your mind to younger times when you were sick, laid up in bed. Where you given food to bolster you up even when you had no appetite. You’ve heard of the Jewish mother who prescribes chicken soup for every ailment. Others will make boiled chicken and plain boiled rice because it nourishes well and travels through the digestive system easily. This is done because food is essential providing the energy needed to fight any ailment.
So with this basic example we learn that food certainly plays a part, you need the right sustenance. Imagine if your mother had given you crisps and coke throughout your illness, would it have been beneficial. Accepting that food is part of the solution in dealing with cancer is the first part in looking at your cancer diet.
Published in The Big issue 13-19 April 2015:
An Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye styes caused by staphylococcus aureus, which also causes the superbug MRSA, was found to be incredibly potent after it was recreated from a 1,000 year old leechbook by the University of Nottingham. The ingredients mix garlic, wine, bullocks stomach gall and leeks, steeped for nine days in a brass vessel. Microbiologists were amazed at the experiment’s efficacy on the modern ailment.
This is evidence that concoctions can treat dis-ease. In this case an ancient remedy was shown to deal with MRSA. Now ask yourself how many National Health patients that contracted MRSA were given this remedy, you know it’s none. The answers are always in nature, albeit the search for the right ingredients are the proverbial needle in a haystack. There are remedies out there that really can help, they are not magic ingredients but simply the right combination or preparation of herbs to deal with the task in hand rather like penicillin is effective against bacteria.
Before you start to look at the things you might benefit from eating, think about the items you need to leave out. It’s no good looking at it half-hearted, remember your life is under attack and you need to actively work at fixing the dis-ease. Stopping smoking is the obvious and most important commitment; it may be that you’ve smoked recreational drugs and you believe in their benefits. Indeed some Multiple Sclerosis sufferes swear by marijuana. If this is the case and you need recreational drugs then at least use a filter, the point is to analyse your habits and take the necessary corrective steps.
The foods that we eat should be beneficial to the body as a whole. For example certain foods and exercise are beneficial to the heart. The risk factors to the heart are lack of exercise, smoking and the intake of fats , these things cause heart disease. Simply watching your fats and substituting fried foods for eating more avocados will help the heart, avocados are rich in healthy fat. We hear a lot about the Mediterranean diet, because Mediterraneans tend to live longer, so perhaps there’s something to eating more salads.
How much coffee do you drink in a day. When you are in treatment and perhaps sitting at home all day, you’ll probably drink more than usual. Coffee and tea boh contain caffeine, a diuretic. Diuretics increase the passing of urine and can lead to dehydration. Believing that you’ve put enough liquids in the body may be false if it’s all caffeine. In addition there are more than 1,000 chemicals in a cup of coffee; of these, only 26 have been tested, and half caused cancer in rats.
Determining the diet for your cancer is just as much about stopping the intake of some things as well as finding the most beneficial to you and trying need foods like eating more fruit and discovering the benefits of seeds like pumpkin seeds and chia. Aztec warriors used to consume chia seeds for energy and sustenance in battle.
What food does cancer like
The widespread belief is that cancers feed on sugars and therefore sugar makes cancer grow faster. However sugar takes several forms, foregoing everything that contains sugar can be as awkward to the body as foregoing all fats. As mentioned earlier avocados are a great substitute for other fats because the body needs fat. The body also needs sugars. There are sugars in fruit so should you avoid fruit when it is the single food type providing the best part of an effective cancer diet.
When proteins are deep fried, grilled, barbequed, or baked the animal protein is subjected to high heat which creates carcinogenic byproducts called heterocyclic amines. When the cooking goes too far such as with a well done steak, those crispy well browned bits have in their making created free radicals. One of your body’s jobs is to clear up free radicals in the blood and flush them out, this is what antioxidants do. Free radicals entering the blood stream from burnt proteins create a risk and if there are not enough antioxidants then there’s a problem – avoid well done meats.
Processed meats have been pre-heated therefore you should avoid them. Equally pickles, jams and other preserves contain nitrites which are carcinogenic.
The main message is that cancer likes foods that have been over-worked by processing or preserving, so by this definition, fresh foods in their rawrest state fight cancer.
A note about antioxidants. From the above we might be tempted to stock up with them in the form of taking multi-vitamins but the cancer diet should avoid excessive intake of vitamin supplements, as they act as antioxidants and can interfere with chemotherapy when taken in large doses.
If diet isn’t an issue then why are some foods cancer fighting
Let’s look at the list of food types that are regarded as being cancer fighting, there are twelve:
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Brightly Orange-Colored Fruits and Veggies (Citrus Fruits, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, etc.
- Fresh Herbs and Spices
- Organic Meats
- Cultured Dairy Products
- Nuts and Seeds
In a nutshell people like to eat the following when altering their diet to combat disease:
- Fresh fruit (the highest in water content is good, melons etc.)
- Yogurt (it promotes healthy digestion)
- Hot or cold cereal (for fiber and energy)
- Whole grains (a lot of rice)
- Poultry (Pressumably the Jewish mother addage that chicken is good for everything.)
It’s hard to find the right balance for you isn’t it. What you decide to eat based on the information above will depend a lot on what foods you like to eat. If you love eggs then that will no doubt feature a lot but if you then read something negative about eggs, perhaps they give too much protein that cancer welcomes, or maybe too many eggs contribute to raising cholesterol levels (just hypothetical,) then you will probably cut out eggs altogether.
Therefore it’s easier to look at a small list of items you should definitely not eat or at least try to avoid as much as possible:
- Deep fried, grilled, barbecued, and baked meats (these subject animal protein to high heat thereby creating carcinogenic byproducts called heterocyclic amines.)
- Excessive intake of salt, sugar, and oily foods.
- Red meat and processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages.
Basically burning wood, gas, or charcoal emits chemicals known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Exposure to these chemicals is known to cause several types of cancer in lab animals. So Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are chemicals formed when muscle meat, including fish is cooked using high-temperature methods such as frying or grilling. So although a barbecue is regarded as a healthy method because it drains a lot of fat from food, the downside is that it is cooked over an open flame and consequently harmful chemicals are formed. One study found that the high incidence of cancer in Asian women was largely caused by the overuse of cooking with a wok over extreme heat.
Oxidation is the process of oxygen metabolised in the body. When this happens ‘free radicals’ are created that damage cells, and cellular proteins like lipids and DNA. Free radicals steal electrons from other molecules, thereby altering the structure of cells. The damage to cells especially to DNA, contributes to the development of cancer.
There are two ways to combat the build up of free radicals. Firstly by avoiding external sources such as exposure to X-rays, too much sun, cigarettes, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals. In respect of diet, avoid sugars and processed foods and promote the manufacture of anti-oxidants in the body. When you breathe in oxygen, cells convert it to energy and free radicals are a by-product that in turn actually repair cells. However when free radicals appear over and above what is needed for cell repair then they cause damage by interacting with cell molecules. Oxidative stress happens when the amount of free radicals exceeds the amount of antioxidants and that’s when oxidation damages our cells, proteins and DNA.
When the body processess sugar it also creates oxidation so it follows that the more sugar the more oxidation happens. Processed foods often contain sugar but irregular eating times also results in oxidation; so balance your blood sugar by eating smaller, frequent meals. Your cancer means your immune system is under serious attack, when the immune system is fighting it creating oxidation which is why when you get sick your body is drained of energy. So make sure a cold or infection is prevented as much as possible.
In essense avoid toxins such as cigarettes, candles, and hair salons, where high heat or smoke will be present. Even go as far as replacing your household cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives. Anti-oxidants block oxidation, the body makes them and you can introduce them too. To promote their production, Eat foods that help your body to make glutathione which is made from three amino acids: glycine, glutamate, and cysteine – and it contains sulfur.
And to introduce sulphur eat: Avocados, Garlic, Onions, Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, collards, and cabbage.
In the form of vitamin supplements try the following: Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamins C, D and E.
There are also supplements containing actual glutathione which you can enquire about.
Foods that are high in antioxidants are usually the most colourful and include:
- Nuts & seeds
Research has shown that the leading herbs that are highest in anti-oxidants are tumeric and green tea. Broccoli has a superfood status in this area and for fruit it is watermelons, oranges and apricots that rule. spinch and artichokes are also anti-oxidant rich foods.
We have learned that the body produces free radicals to repair cells. The liver produces and uses them for detoxification, while white blood cells use free radicals to destroy damaged cells. Excessive numbers in the body cause health problems which are generally stabilised by anti-oxidants produced by the body and introduced supplimentory that prevent free radical damage. Therefore the food we eat should be organic in order to avoid pesticides and other chemicals i.e. toxins, and food should be high in anti-oxidants and where meat is concerned try to eat only grass fed meat.
The Dries Diet
The Dries Diet is more than just another nutritional book, it examines the relationship between food and cancer and explains how the body is designed to interact with food.
Therefore, it has a different approach to eating food to tackle disease. It aims to maximise the benefit from food and provide the body with the best tools to do the job. This view assumes that everything can be solved by food alone, because it is a food book, but of course that is not always the case. However, as we have discussed so far, unless the condition is terminal then food is the most effective weapon, indeed it would be a progressive world that looked at diet regimens before prescribing routine drug treatments.
Diet has its place in effective treatment. Even so the Dries cancer diet is designed as a supplement to your treatment, even though it starts from the very beginnings showing the role that evolution plays in the relationship between food and body.
The later Paleo diets claim to be foods that would have been abailable to cavemen and therefore it assumes that foods that were not available to them must be non-desirable to the human body. This is a one-sided approach in that a body that has evolved to digest pumpkin seeds should also have no problem with tomato seeds.
Dries is different in that it looks at photonic energy. The sun is the powercell of everything that lives and energy we know can be in several forms, one of these is light. Light energy is the only form of energy that we can see directly. It affects water temperature and plant photosynthesis. It is essentially electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Light energy is the central theme through this book because it is such a fundamental factor for life. A photosynthetic pigment of plants called chlorophyll, absorbes light energy and at the same time carbon dioxide and oxygen (i.e. air) is absorbed through the leaf stomata. This is the process of photosynthesis which occurs when light energy converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) into carbohydrates (i.e. glucose and oxygen.)
Now we take a step further. The form of light has been proved to be as both a particle and a wave. Its study has moved from electromagnetics into quantum mechanics. We see either a particle or a wave, not both at the same time. Einstein believed that light is a particle known as a photon, and the flow of photons is a wave.
In physics, a photon is electromagnetic energy and the basic unit that makes up light, therefore known as an elementary particle. In quantum mechanics each photon has a characteristic quantum of energy. In other words, light is carried over space by photons. Photons always travel at the speed of light, even in a vaccum. So the Dries book looks at this energy as a healing force.
How does it work, well plants that receive photonic energy and use it in photosynthesis can sustain the healthy growth of foods such as root vegetables. Carrots, turnips, potatoes, beets and other roots are rich in starch and carbohydrates (sugars) because as we have seen, photosynthesis converts air into sugars. However, food that grows above ground such as fruit will absorb and hold photons and therefore photonic energy. The larger the fruit usually the more sun it has had and therefore the more photonic energy it will contain.
It is a simple law of physics that the higher the frequency the more energy and that the increase in light energy absorbed by the body will increase the level of order which is exactly what we want when the body is out of ease. Cooked and processed food will never give your body the bio-photon energy it needs to create a state of inner order.
This way of thinking about high energy giving food was made more acceptable when photons could be measured in food. Kirilian photography has captured the light aura emitted by the living cells of a plant and Professor Popp (a German physicist,) was the first researcher to quantify the intensity of this light emission which made it possible to measure the differences in the amount of bio-photons radiated by vegetables and fruit. Indeed Professor Popp considered bio-photon content more importance than the nutrient or caloric content. Canned, processed and frozen food emit almost no bio-photons whatsoever.
In this book you will find suggested menus made from foods high in bio-photons. Melons, pineapples and grapes are high on the list. The main thing is to overcome the desire to eat blander savoury food. We have become used to savoury but humans are essentially frugivors and were originally feeding on fruit alone. You can have a meal of fruit that is sweet, so getting your head around that is a goal, then you can fill up with fruits. Approximately 20% of all mammalian herbivores also eat fruit, so frugivory is common among mammals anyway.