Cancer Fighting (and Causing) Foods
Next to strokes and heart attacks, cancer is the next leading cause of death in developed countries. Although genetics can make someone predisposed cancer, environmental factors also play a huge factor in determining whether cancer actually develops.
Many of us know that smoking is a major cause of cancer, but very few of us think about the other potentially cancer-causing things that we put into our bodies. Some experts believe that the body has the ability to fight cancer, even after it begins, if the body has the right kind of tools -- namely the right nutrients ideally coming from foods rather than supplements.
Think about it this way. Cancer is the genetic mutation of DNA, leading to mutated cells during cell reproduction. So, if cells are influenced in a negative way by the chemicals we put into our bodies, then it also suggests that we can positively influence cells. In addition, it stands to reason that our immune system is better able to destroy cancerous cells if it is working efficiently.
Foods to Eat
All fruits and vegetables have vital nutrients, but not are equal in their ability to fight cancer. Some of the best are: avocados, raspberries, cranberries, figs, apples, grapes, citrus fruits, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. As a guideline we should be consuming a wide variety of natural foods; eating them in their most natural state; and favoring those grown organically (i.e. without the use of pesticides). Consuming adequate amounts of natural foods will also assure that plenty of fiber is consumed, and this will help with the expulsion of waste products from the body, instead of the food staying too long in the digestive system and possibly causing problems.
Foods to Avoid
The list of potentially cancer-causing foods is too long to list. It's also growing longer every minute so a list would be out of date as soon as it was published. Instead, check the ingredients of everything you buy and avoid the following as much as possible:
- Trans fats which have been shown to damage cells, increase bad cholesterol, and increase inflammation.
- Hydrogenated fats, which is basically any oil that has been changed from its original state, and has similar effects as trans fats.
- Saturated fats which have been shown to suppress the immune system and slow down the body's ability to detoxify.
- Too much animal protein which has been shown to increase bad cholesterol and increase saturated fats in the body. In addition, some experts believe that animal products contain tumor growth factors.
- Genetically modified foods which have been shown to compromise the immune system.
- Sugar which has been shown to feed cancer cells.
Another way to look at this is to look at how processed a food is. The more processing the more unnatural it is which means nutrients are destroyed or even removed on purpose. Food processing can also create some very harmful chemicals. This is true with barbequed meat and frying because cooking at high temperatures can create harmful chemicals that now become part of the food you will be eating. Of course, some foods, like legumes, need to be cooked before they can be eaten which is acceptable.
If you want to learn more, start reading the ingredients on the packages of the food you buy. Then, look up the terms to learn what you are actually eating. You'll be amazed at the variety and abundance of chemicals we consume.