Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stacking the Odds

I took a nutrition class at cancer camp.  The instructor was very informative, having been an oncology nutritionist for over twenty five years.  Thank you very much to The Wellness Community for all the great classes available to cancer patients, and specifically to Tinrin Chew, RD, CSO, the guest speaker, who works for Alta Bates and in private consultations.

I think you already know most of the common sense stuff about eating and living healthy.  Here is some of the latest and greatest info you might not know about, or is worth reminding you about.

Everybody has Lurking Cancer Cells; It's easier to Prevent than Cure
Every single one of us has cancer cells or mutated cells lurking in our bodies.  The nutritionist drew a very interesting graph where all these cancer cells were mixed in with the general population.  When the body is functioning at its best, these rogue cells are attacked and flushed out by your body's own defenses.  Most people who have been diagnosed have had something going wrong on a cellular level for 8-10 years prior to anything being recognized and diagnosed.  The point being, it takes cancer a long time to become "cancer" but once it has started, look out.  You may be in that window of things happening inside you, but you can seriously effect it with your diet.

That said, there are all kinds of reasons why cancer may have developed.  Environmental pollution or contamination of food.  Genetic predispositions.  Hormonal factors.

Stack the odds in your favor.  Read below.
Eat your Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower
Several recent studies have shown foods in the the broccoli family, including cauliflower and cabbage, are notorious cancer ass-kickers.  You should get at least 1/2 cup of one of these every single day.  If you have been diagnosed with cancer, up that to one cup per day.  Turns out the sulphur compounds in these veggies are cancer cell terminators.

The Importance of Good Fats and Omega 3's
Good fats.  You know these, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, flax oil, canola oil, fish oil.  One of the interesting things on the cancer horizon is deciphering why it's becoming so prevalent; is one of the leading contributors our ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3?  The cultures with the lowest incidence of cancer and other disease have a very high ratio of Omega 3 to very low of Omega 6.  This is some really important stuff.

Omega 6's, found in vegetable oil and soy oil and lots of our processed foods seriously affect your body's immunity and make the body more prone to inflammation, all of which make you more susceptible to disease.  Read up on Omega 6's and do what you can to reduce your intake of them.  You know the stuff, it's all in the center aisles of the grocery store and at your favorite fast food place, they put cheese and pickles on it.

Omega 3's on the other hand are not made in the body, but are essential to healthy, thriving cells, strong immunity and very low inflammation.  If you aren't eating salmon every day, supplements are great.  It's not how many grams you take, it's how high your fish oil supplements are in EPA and DHA.  Read the labels.  Buy the ones with the highest levels of EPA and DHA.

Many People Diagnosed with Cancer are Vitamin D Deficient  
Vitamin D is one of those really important things that a lot of us are very low in because of changes in our diet and limiting our exposure to the sun.  Interesting to note that many of the people diagnosed with cancer are Vitamin D deficient.  Keep it simple.  Take a Vitamin D3 supplement.  Or next time you have a physical, have your Vitamin D level tested.  Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D.

Top Cancer Fighting Foods 
Include these every single day in your regular diet for great health and turning your cells into cancer fighting machines.

avocados, beans and legumes, berries, broccoli family, carrots, fatty fish like salmon, flax seeds, garlic and onions, green tea, herbs and spices (like rosemary, turmeric, curry and oregano), nuts, olives, olive oil, orange juice, mushrooms (especially shitake), soy foods, tomatoes, whole grains, yogurt with active cultures, artichokes, prunes, apples, cherries.

You knew this was going to be in there didn't you?  Besides all the reasons exercise is important, it really helps energize and turn on your lymphatic system, which is one of your body's main ways of flushing cancer cells down the toilet.  Move people.  30 minutes every day.  60 minutes if you are trying to achieve weight loss.  Are you listening writergirl?  yes dammit.  Aerobic exercise is not turning the cork in a bottle, and anaerobic exercise is not when you pull the cork out.  You listening?  yes dammit.

(Dammit Mikey)

Not that hard, right?

What do ya say?

Shall we give it a try?

1 comment:

kim said...

I'm trying to get there. I do eat lots of broccoli, and I love to eat avocado and nuts. I'm really trying on the exercise thing, but not always easy. I know, make time. Definetly need more omega3. Think it is time to hit the vitamin aisle.

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