Did you know that certain foods actually may fuel cancer cells’ growth? It’s no secret that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind and health. Sadly, many doctors do not study nutrition and, therefore, rarely provide dietary advice. Instead, they may simply analyze your symptoms and write out a prescription for your health concerns. However, knowing what foods you should eat and what to avoid can be a significant step in living a healthier life and lowering the risk of developing cancer.
Foods That Fuel the Growth of Cancer Cells
Here are some of the most dangerous foods that can actually fuel the growth of cancer cells:
1. Cured, smoked, and processed meats all have direct links to cancer. Most people, however, consume these daily. Do you eat bacon, ham, sausage, hot dogs, lunch meat, and corned beef? They may be pleasing to your taste buds, but did you know that some of the processes and chemicals used to preserve these meats generate cancer-causing compounds? In fact, the risk is so high that the World Cancer Research Fund recommends avoiding processed meats altogether!
2. Refined carbs and sugars also fuel the growth of cancer cells. Over the past fifty years, the consumption of refined carbs and refined sugar has greatly increased. Cancer needs sugar to live. Bacteria, fungus, and other toxic microbes cause over 90% of all illnesses to feed on glucose. Yes, these foods provide cancer cells with a steady supply of glucose that they need to multiply.
3. GMO (Genetically Modified) foods are also highly toxic. The powerful Monsanto Corporation produces chemicals like Round-up for the farm community. The bad news is that this herbicide has been linked to an increased risk of tumor growth, breast cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia. No wonder more and more people have decided to purchase non-GMO seeds, like Heritage Seeds, and grow their own gardens.
4. Overcooked meat is another contributing factor for many types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, pancreas, and stomach. When you have a BBQ and grill and cook meat at high temperatures, this releases cancer-causing chemicals, such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Apparently, the longer you cook the meat and the higher the temperature, the more these compounds are produced. No wonder the French eat their steak medium rare.
Consuming only grass-fed free-range beef, chicken, and lamb is highly recommended to avoid all the hormones and chemicals used in commercial farms today. Also, it is best to BBQ your meat on the hotplate area of the BBQ where flames cannot touch the meat directly.
Foods That Support Cancer Cells
For cancer cells to multiply and spread through our bodies, they require the new growth of blood vessels called “angiogenesis.” Research has discovered that when there is no formation of new blood vessels, the cancer cells die off before they have a chance to multiply. That is why we need to consume foods that decrease cancer cells that might be lurking in our bodies.
Here are some of the most beneficial cancer supporting foods to consume daily:
1. “Cruciferous” or “brassica” vegetables (such as arugula, bok choy, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, and watercress) all contain powerful phytonutrients called sulforaphane and indoles. If we consume many of these foods daily, they will inhibit angiogenesis and support cancer.
Also, they may prevent cancer cells from forming and help support cancer cells and protect them from DNA damage. No wonder Dr. Johanna Budwig had her patients drink a glass of fresh sauerkraut juice first thing in the morning. Also, many of her recipes included these cruciferous vegetables. When we eat these foods regularly, we lower our risk of developing prostate, colon, breast, lung, and other cancers.
2. Green tea helps decrease the risk of colon, prostate, lung, esophageal, and other cancers. What is it about green tea that is different from other teas? Well, green tea has catechins, which help to prevent cancer invasion, tumor formation, and angiogenesis. More than that, green tea also helps preserve telomeres, which are the protective strands of DNA at the ends of your chromosomes.
Scientists now believe that shortened telomeres have been linked with developing certain types of cancer and premature aging and disease. You can also increase your consumption of green tea by consuming green tea capsules or tablets. Typically one green tea tablet equals three cups of green tea.
3. Fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids also work in many ways to prevent angiogenesis and inhibit cancer cells’ growth. So go ahead and enjoy consuming berries, pomegranates, apples, spinach, onions, and cacao daily. These are all foods that have a high flavonoid content.
Brand new research shows that organic crops and foods contain 69 percent more antioxidants than conventional crops grown with pesticides. Dr. Budwig had all her cancer patients consume plenty of natural fruits, fruit juice, and vegetables.
Most of us are already eating some fruits and vegetables. However, are we eating enough? Most of us need to eat more of these healthy foods. Especially our children need to develop a taste for real food. If you are having a problem getting your family to eat more fruit, serve them a glass of fresh-pressed fruit juice first thing in the morning and when they come into the kitchen looking for a snack.
Many children resist eating vegetables, especially the cruciferous ones, which have a stronger flavor. We can make a nice puree type soup with some of these vegetables combined with carrot and other more tasty vegetables to educate their palate from a young age. How many of us resisted eating our vegetables when we were growing up, but as we ate a few over a period of time, we came to accept and even enjoy them.
4. Grapes and red wine are an abundant source of resveratrol. You have probably heard that resveratrol slows down the enzymes that may stimulate cancer-cell growth. As found in grapes (especially the seed), resveratrol also may decrease cancer growth and the formation of cancer-spreading blood vessels.
Do you or a loved one have cancer or other serious health condition that you are concerned about? Complete our medical consultation form so that we can understand your needs and advise you further.
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Note: This post was originally published in March, 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and clarity.