Anti Cancer Diet
There is no one specific anti-cancer diet that has proven to cure cancer. There are however a few set guidelines that you can follow in terms of nutrition, body and mind in order to prevent cancer or reduce side-effects and improve the efficacy of treatment.
Few guidelines that you must consider in order to reduce the risk of cancer are:
- Choose a variety of healthy foods in certain quantities and proportions, in order to avail all possible nutrients from the same. One easy way to ensure this is that your daily intake of the food pyramid looks like the one below. Of course the same can be customized for every individual.
- Go organic. That means your exposure to herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and synthetic additives is limited. The use of toxic herbicides like glyphosate has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. This glyphosate is considered to possess estrogenic activity and can be especially harmful to estrogen positive cancers. It can also have other possible negative implications on our other body parts.
- Make sure that you eat at least 3-4 cups of fresh, seasonal, low glycemic index fruits and vegetables every day. Research shows that a diet rich in fruits and veggies helps in reducing the risk of developing cancer. They also help in reducing inflammation.
- Choose healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish, avocado and walnuts, other nuts and seeds. These foods are also considered anti-inflammatory.
- Select proteins such as fish, grass fed lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, lentils and legumes.
- Opt for healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as organic whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. Make sure you keep this to a minimum, as we Indians tend to binge eat the same.
- Keep yourself well hydrated.
- Use different and plenty of herbs and spices in your diet wherever possible. Like ginger, garlic, turmeric, oregano, thyme etc.
- Use the right oil! We often don’t realize that oil is the food that we consume the most. Using the right one is essential. We recommend you opt for cold pressed oil like extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin avocado oil, coconut oil, organic ghee, cold pressed mustard oil and avoid refined oils. As cold pressed oils are extracted at low temperatures and therefore the smoking point is high, making it suitable for high temperature cooking. Also the plus point is that they do not have artificial additives.
- Consider including these below mentioned foods on a regular basis as they are proven to be anti-cancerous.
- Garlic- The active component in garlic is allicin, a compound that is considered anti-cancerous. Several studies have found an association between garlic intake and a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
- Berries- They are delicious and have cancer-fighting properties. Berries contain particularly powerful antioxidants, meaning they can halt a naturally occurring process in the body that creates free radicals that can damage your cells.
- Broccoli (cruciferous veggies)- This contains sulforaphane, a plant compound found in cruciferous vegetables that may have potent anti-cancer properties. In order to make the most out of broccoli, cut and keep it aside for 10 minutes before lightly steaming it.
- Green Tea/ Matcha Tea- The leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) contain antioxidants called catechins, which may help prevent cancer in a variety of ways, including keeping free radicals from damaging cells.
- Curcumin- A bioactive component found in turmeric, a staple food in every Indian household may be useful in reducing cancer risks. Curcumin is considered to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and even anti-cancer effects.
- Grapes- The skin of red grapes is a particularly rich source of an antioxidant called resveratrol. According to the National Cancer Institute, resveratrol may be useful in keeping cancer from beginning or spreading.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene. Lycopene is a compound found in tomatoes that is responsible for its vibrant red color as well as its anti-cancer properties. Several studies have found that an increased intake of lycopene and tomatoes could lead to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
- Fatty fish- like salmon, mackerel and anchovies contain important nutrients such as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids that have been linked to a lower risk of cancer.
- Unnecessary snacking in between your meals. Remember that constant insulin spikes can release IGF-1 factor in our body which helps in promoting the growth of tumors.
- Avoid sugar, refined or processed foods at all times. These are high in glycemic index, which can spike your blood sugar level and therefore trigger insulin release. Over a long duration of time this can cause inflammation which in turn can promote tumor growth.
- Anything with food additives like preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and colors is a big no.
- Keep yourself away from processed meat. These might have preservatives such as nitrates which are supposedly considered cancerous.
- Do not consume a lot of cow milk on a regular basis. If you do, make sure it’s purely organic. One of the reasons that dairy is considered unhealthy today is because we have started to use a lot of pesticides for plant cultivation destroying the fertility of the soil and the quality of the grain obtained. The same is fed to our cattle, thereby indirectly altering their health and the quality of milk/ meat that we obtain from them. Also, the cattle are injected with vaccines, growth hormones which create havoc in our system. Besides, there are few naturally produced hormones present in cow milk, which although is less when compared to the amount produced in our body, can have a negative impact if you are sensitive to the same.
- Milk also contains Insulin like growth factor (IGF-1). Recently, several studies have identified IGF‐1to be associated with an increased risk of developing a number of common cancers, including lung, breast, colorectal and prostate.
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