4. 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. Saying that, it’s hard to imagine a doctor that doesn’t believe that diet plays a significant part in recovery.

The medical establishment sees only the guidelines it has to follow, the policy of the medical board is paramount and nothing else can be considered. That policy is that cancer can only be cured with operations or chemotherapy.

Often for people with stomach cancer the procedure has been to remove the stomach thereby removing the cancer. The problem is that this success adds to the statistic of cured cancer when cutting out cancerous tissue does not mean the dis-ease is eradicated.

So naturally you turn to a charity that deals with your particular cancer. For Hodgkin’s 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 and offer support.

Charities don’t look much outside of the medical facts either so it’s unlikely that you’ll come across dietary advice that goes beyond what would be advisable to any healthy individual. As far as going it alone and trying to cure your own cancer, who would really take the chance, but to emphasise the earlier point, the official treatment and your own remedies work perfectly well side by side.

Let’s start with the things we can all do without much ado. Sleep is beneficial for repair of the body, you need plenty of rest during chemo sessions so use your sleep patterns to both rest and repair. Exercise is free, and probably better than sleep and diet put together, although each is essential for wellbeing.

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 makes chicken soup for every ailment. Some make boiled chicken and plain boiled rice because it nourishes well and travels through the digestive system easily. Food is providing the energy needed to fight an ailment.

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, no one right. The answers are always in nature. 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, no magic there.

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 the benefits. Indeed some Multiple Sclerosis sufferers swear by marijuana. If this is the case and you need recreational drugs then you need to cut out the tobacco.

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 Mediterranean people tend to live longer, so perhaps there’s something healing about their diet.

How much coffee do you drink in a day. Coffee and tea both 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 based. 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 you is about cutting the things you like that you know are counting towards your total of un-beneficial food, such as coffee. I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink coffee, just that it shouldn’t be five cups in a day. Discover new things such as eating seeds like pumpkin seeds and chia. Aztec warriors used to consume chia seeds for energy and sustenance in battle. And definitely, absolutely increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Eat fruit ripe and vegetables slightly underdone.

What food does cancer like

The widespread theory is that cancers feed on sugars and therefore sugar makes cancer grow faster. However sugar takes several forms and foregoing everything that contains sugar can be as awkward to the body as foregoing fats.

As mentioned earlier avocados are natures natural good fat and can be substituted for other fats in your diet as the body does need fat. The body also needs sugars.

When proteins are deep fried, grilled, barbecued, or baked the animal protein is subjected to high heat which creates carcinogenic by-products called heterocyclic amines. When the cooking goes too far such as with a well done steak, those crispy well browned bits are also full of free radicals.

One of the 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 are healthier. Not only do they not contain harmful chemicals but positively work towards ridding your body of those it finds.

This praise of antioxidants doesn’t mean you should over eat on fresh produce to or stock up with multi-vitamins. 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.

Some foods fight cancer:

Let’s look at the list of food types that are regarded as being cancer fighting.

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Berries
  • Brightly Orange-Coloured Fruits and Veggies (Citrus Fruits, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, etc.
  • Fresh Herbs and Spices
  • Organic Meats
  • Cultured Dairy Products
  • Nuts and Seeds

Popular foods people use to fight illness:

  • Fresh fruit (the best are melons, pineapples, grapes)
  • Yogurt (it promotes healthy digestion)
  • Hot or cold cereal (for fibre and energy)
  • Cheese (0% fat will help to lose tummy weight)
  • Whole grains (brown rice is better)
  • Poultry (for easy digestible protein)
  • Eggs (for iron)

How you incorporate the items above into your cancer diet depends on what you also like to eat. Don’t be guided by too much internet reading, for example eggs do not increase your cholesterol level, so don’t cut them out if you have high cholesterol because you’ve read it somewhere, do your own research and best decide for yourself.

Now let’s look at a small list of items you should definitely try to avoid or drastically cut down on:

  • 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, sug​ar, and oil.
  • 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 and using a wok.

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.

Secondly, 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. Free radicals are a by-product of breathing which help to repair cells.

However, when free radicals appear over and above what is needed for cell repair they cause damage when interacting with other cells. 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 processes 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 is also 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. Don’t be afraid to walk away quickly when someone sneezes.

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 with fresh foods. To promote the production of anti-oxidants, eat foods that help your body to make glutathione which is made from three amino acids: glycine, glutamate, and cysteine – and contains sulphur.

  • Asparagus
  • Peaches
  • Walnuts
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Sulphur is low in toxicity to people and these foods contain some: 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 try to find.

Foods that are high in antioxidants are usually the most colourful and include:

  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • 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 and watermelons, oranges and apricots are the leading fruits. Spinach and artichokes are also anti-oxidant rich foods.

If you cannot cut out meat altogether, then 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 available to cavemen thereby assuming that foods that were not available to them must be non-beneficial. 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 power-cell 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, absorbs 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 vacuum. So the Dries diet 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 rich in starch and carbohydrates (sugars) because as we have seen, photosynthesis converts air into sugars.

However, food that grows above ground absorbs photons and therefore photonic energy. The largest fruits have usually received the most sun and consequently contain higher photonic energy.

Cooked and processed food will never give your body enough bio-photon energy to create a state of inner order.

Energy-giving food from photonic energy has been proved because it can be measured in food. Kirilian photography 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 of a higher 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. The main thing is to overcome the desire to eat blander savoury food. We have become used to savoury but humans are essentially frugivores.

You can have a meal of fruit that is sweet, so getting your head around that is the goal, because it takes some getting use to. Approximately 20% of all mammalian herbivores also eat fruit, so frugivory is common among mammals anyway.

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