In Canada, heart disease is no longer the the number one cause of death.
Based on estimates from 2009, 2 out of 5 Canadians (45% of men and 41% of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime.
As hopeless as this might make you feel, I believe there is much we can do to turn the tables on this modern day epidemic. Let’s take a look at some of the important factors to consider when preventing or healing from cancer.
What’s also important to understand is that these points can be extremely helpful when dealing with many other illnesses as well, auto immune diseases in particular.
This post is a collaboration of information. Most of the writing has been quoted from Mary Laredo, of Natural News. I’ve made a few additions based on the additional research I’ve done and have included these adjustments. Laredo believes that a comprehensive approach to healing cancer includes at least the following;
“Both proper nutrition and pure, filtered water are critical to a successful anti-cancer strategy. Diet alone can make or break the effectiveness of any cancer treatment and is therefore the most important strategic point. Knowing which foods feed cancer cells, which interfere with the treatment, and which assist in healing is vital..
It has been made increasingly clear that refined, processed sugar feeds and strengthens cancer cells and should be the first substance to be eliminated. I consider white sugar, sugar cane, beet sugar and rice syrups processed. It’s also essential to completely avoid fake, chemical sugar substitutes, refined flour and trans fatty acids; i.e. margarine, fried foods, most store bought baked goods, cookies + crackers, as they’re also damaging to the healing process and numerous studies have linked them to cancer. Pasteurized dairy is considered a “mucus-forming” food and should also be avoided. This includes pasteurized cheese and milk, as well as low-fat, flavoured yogurts.”
*Plain, greek-style yogurt, kefir, raw full-fat milk and grass-fed butter will be wonderfully healing foods for some.
“Effective healing requires the removal of accumulated toxins and metabolic wastes. Dietary changes will assist in this, as being mindful to eliminate or minimize the ingestion of processed foods, substances, and environmental toxins that inhibit the healing process is of primary importance. It’s also beneficial to begin a healing regimen with a cleanse of the kidneys, liver and colon to remove stored toxins. There are many effective cleansing formulas and procedures – speak with a holistic healer, nutritionist and/or naturopath regarding the best option for you.
In addition to consciously avoiding toxic exposure and cleansing the organs of elimination, there are various therapies and practices that will help purify the body. Some include daily stretching to release acids from tissues; rebounding on a mini-trampoline to move lymph fluid, flush waste, and increase the number and activity of white blood cells; perspiring in a sauna to purge toxins through the skin; juicing to alkalize and cleanse tissues, and castor oil packs to enhance circulation, stimulate the immune system and aid in detoxification.
Toxic build-up can also be released through fasting, which helps to heal and rejuvenate the body. The practice of coffee enemas should also be considered since it prevents the reabsorption of toxins, cleanses the blood and liver, and counteracts the symptoms of a potential healing crisis. To be clear on how to proceed with a fast or enema it may be necessary to speak with a health care professional.”
As a resident of the West Kootenay’s, I’ve become infatuated with raw, spring-sourced water. I certainly realize this isn’t accessible to everyone. One option is to fill glass wine kit jars with water via: Find a Spring.com. Another option is to invest in a top of the line water filtration system for your drinking water. I believe this is one the most important things you can do for your health.
“The immune system is our body’s natural defence against harmful substances and abnormal cell development. Any cell within the body can mutate in response to negative stressors, but a healthy immune system will stop its growth and defend against an uncontrollable malignancy. There are various groups of white blood cells that possess an innate intelligence for healing. Their functions include identifying, attacking, destroying and finally removing abnormal cells through the body’s lymph system and organs of elimination. Strategies to strengthen and build these natural defences to prevent or treat cancer include a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods and supplementation. Chlorella, mushroom extracts, aloe vera, and milk thistle are just a few of the many supplements that strengthen the body’s natural defences.”
“Deep, restful sleep is an important part of an effective healing strategy. During sleep our bodies undergo the processes of rebuilding, detoxifying and healing. The liver works during the deepest level of sleep, the delta level, to break down and eliminate carcinogens. Additionally, sleeping in complete darkness contributes to healthy levels of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that promotes restful sleep. Eating three hours before sleep, especially protein, should be avoided since it diverts the body’s healing efforts to digestion. The value of adequate sleep should not be overlooked because without it our healing efforts will be compromised.
Other lifestyle changes include sunlight exposure and daily exercise. Research links lack of sunlight to certain cancers and vitamin D from sunlight has been shown to shrink tumours. Adequate exposure during the early morning or late afternoon hours is the safest way to obtain the restorative benefits of sunlight. The darker one’s pigmentation, the more exposure is necessary. Avoid over-exposure during the hottest part of the day as sunburns can damage skin and promote cancer.
Regular exercise speeds up the elimination of toxins and is necessary to keep the body oxygenated and to improve lymphatic function while building immunity. These therapeutic benefits can be achieved through moderate exercise at least three times per week and gradually increasing duration and/or intensity as new thresholds are reached.
The body, through its resilience, will heal itself when given what it needs. It’s sustenance however is not the end of the story. Addressing the mind and emotions is the second component of the holistic approach that should not be overlooked.”
A POSTIVIE MIND
This can certainly be the most challenging aspect. “Developing a positive attitude will reduce psychological stress and profoundly aid the healing process. A cancer survivor can achieve this in part by becoming proactive through researching alternative options. This is an empowering strategy and gives one a firm sense of control. There are innumerable books and websites that outline alternative cancer therapies.
Each individual has the power to control their own thoughts and attitudes, thereby creating their reality. A constructive outlook perceives a cancer diagnosis as a necessary life-changing event and an opportunity to transform one’s life.”
Cancer cells depend almost exclusively on glucose. High insulin and insulin like growth factor, “resulting from chronic ingestion of CHO-rich Western diet meals”, can “directly promote tumour cell proliferation via the insulin signalling pathway.” High insulin levels from a high-carb diet promote tumour growth. High amounts of circulating glucose are extremely inflammatory. Inflammation exacerbates almost all diseases, including cancer. Many cancer patients develop insulin resistance, which can make a high-carb diet deleterious to their health in numerous ways — via Environmental Health Perspectives
DO ALKALINE FOODS STARVE CANCER CELLS —RUSS CURRAN
Keeping the body in a steady alkaline state is another approach to be considered. “It is a known fact that cancer cells survive in an atmosphere of less oxygen. As such, excess of oxygen causes their degeneration and death, hopefully leading to the disappearance of cancer. This is exactly where alkaline foods make their entry because it has been found that alkaline cells (i.e. cells with a high pH) have more oxygen retention and carrying capacity than any normal or acidic cells. When such an alkaline state is reached in an area in the exact neighbourhood of cancerous malignant cells, it’s believed that it becomes impossible for those cells to survive. The reason is the excess oxygen that these cells are carrying supposedly leads to the destruction of the cancerous cells. Therefore, it is extremely important that we consume alkaline foods and hence prevent our body from becoming acidic and acting as a magnet for diseases.
Processed foods, sugary carbonated beverages, coffee, alcohol, chlorine and fluoride fall into the category of foods and substances that interfere with healing and may fuel the cancer’s growth. Conversely, a diet of nutrient-rich foods will enhance all levels of the healing process.
All plant foods contain nutrients that aid healing. Herbs, whole fruits and vegetables have properties that protect against and inhibit the proliferation of cancer while strengthening, cleansing and repairing the body. These include green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), sea vegetables, fresh herbs (parsley + cilantro), fresh organic fruits (especially berries), garlic, ginger and turmeric. A diet containing an abundance of fresh, colourful, organic plant foods provides layers of nutritional protection.
Concentrated fats from ground flax seeds and virgin olive oil may be used unheated while virgin coconut oil can be used for heating and cooking. These healthy oils, as well as fats from whole foods such as avocados, raw nuts and seeds, provide the essential fatty acids necessary for oxygenation of cells.”
I believe it’s important to understand that some of the “acid forming foods” i.e. pasture-raised + wild meat, raw and sprouted nuts + seeds, free-range eggs + properly prepared gluten-free grains, are absolutely crucial for some to include in their daily diet. A healthy balance of both alkaline and acid foods can bring the body into a happy place of homeostasis.
I’m under the impression that some of us thrive as carnivores, while others make optimal vegans. Please also note that our belief system and ethics play a very large part in how our body both heals and responds to specific foods. The quality of the food, in which ever diet you choose will be key. Also, regardless of an animal or plant based diet – you must get in lots of organically grown veggies. I believe we need to be consuming fresh, organic vegetables with every meal of the day. I can’t emphasize the word *organic* enough. It’s worth the extra cost to avoid consuming high levels of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
There’s much, much more out there surrounding cancer, how to prevent and heal from it. I will continue to research this vast topic and share my insights.
Thank-you for reading. Most sincerely,